Westward Ho - once again travel blog

Half Dome

Bob & Half Dome

El Capitan on left, Bridalveil Falls on right, Half Dome in far...

Us, hiking up Yosemite Falls trail

Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls (an attempt at copying Ansel Adams

Rock slide on tents & cabins

Steller Jay

Bear & tourists

Mist trail up Nevada Falls

Bridalveil Falls rainbow

Yosemite National Park in eastern/central CA is one of the nicest US parks and probably the most crowded. Camping in it with a 30'trailer is also difficult as they only have a couple of campgound spaces to fit big rigs and reservations are filled within minutes of it hitting the internet. Thus, we stayed outside the park, but found there had been a rock slide a year ago which detoured the road to our campground and limited it to rigs no longer than 45'. Well, we called the campground owner and he said "no problem" and to go anyway and when we came to the actual detour it said "$270 fine if longer than 45'". Needless to say, that upset my stomach even more - but we made it.

We hiked and biked our hearts and legs out for 4 days in sun, rain and snow, attended a bunch of ranger led activites and used the hybrid shuttle buses to get around. The first couple pictures are of the "famous sights". Check out the CA state quarter - it has a picture of Half Dome and John Muir hiking. (He was a big deal in Yosemite and all the early national park history) Our hike up the lower and upper Yosemite Falls trail (7 miles, 2700' vertical) was on the rain and snow day - very cold, very slippery and of course fogged in on top when we finally got there. I'm still nursing sore calf and thigh muscles, but what a great feeling of accomplishment.

The black and white photo is an attempt to duplicate Ansel Adams. He is hereald as one of the most important photographers of the time (early 1900s) and responsible for getting people interested in saving wilderness rather than developing it. What really surprised me was that he "manipulated" his photos in the darkroom. So our modern day computer manipulated photos are nothing new.

Pete, John and Bill - do you remember our visit to Yosemite in 1984? Did we do the Mist Trail up Nevada Falls??? It's a fun hike - up a steep trail (7 miles) with 600 plus steps up the part that the fast flowing, powerful falls completely soak you. Luckily we did that on a warmish day.

There are 100s of cabins and tents for tourists, but you wouldn't have wanted to be in these when there was a rock slide off Half Dome one month ago. See the "bear box" in front of the cabin? You're not even allowed to store food in your car, because the bears just trash the doors of the car to get the food. They say there are 20 bears in Yosemite at present (and the park can only sustain 16). We saw 4 while we were there and the picture is one we saw while on a ranger walk by the upscale Ahwahnee Hotel. Note the people - oblivious to the bear - and within feet of them.

The pretty blue bird is a Steller Jay. They are everywhere out here and as noisy as can be. They very loudly let you know when you are entering their territory.

The last picture was our attempt to get near Bridalveil Falls, but it was flowing so fast and hard that it was like a heavy downpour. Rainbows were everywhere.

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