Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yosemite National Park

The majestically beautiful Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in the USA.  Late fall was the perfect time to most of the other 4 million visitors of 2011 had already come and gone over the summer. 

'...the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.'
~John Muir

We arrived almost at the crack of be a part of the 'grand tour'.  And grand it was!  It was especially nice to be in a small group...and have the tour guide almost to ourselves.

We crossed the Merced River...which flows wild and free from the Sierra Nevada Mountains for 112 miles into the San Joaquin River...and eventually into the Pacific Ocean.

We noticed water flowing over the sheer granite cliffs as we entered the park.  We had heard that the waterfalls are all dry in autumn...but 2011 was an exception.  With a huge snow pack from last winter...and and early snowstorm in October...the falls were still flowing.  Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest in North America...with a drop of 2425 feet.

We met at the lodge and began our day of Yosemite immersion!

Cathedral Rocks...a prominent collection of pinnacles and spires are located near the entrance to the valley.  These rocks have been the location for some serious rock climbing this past century.

Rivers, falls and granite cliffs...

...and the colours of the fading autumn sun reflecting from every surface.

A photographer's delight! 

This fellow looked lean and hungry to me...but I kept my distance.

From Glacial Point...we had the most awesome views.  At an elevation of 7,214 feet...we were at the top of the world around us!

Those peaks all have names.  One of the most well-known would be Half Dome...on the top left of the above photo.  It calls out to rock climbers from around the world...and was first scaled in 1875.  Now there are thousands of climbers reaching the top every year with the help a pair of post-mounted braided steel cables originally constructed in 1919.

I think someone else loved the view from up here!

We had a fabulous lunch at the historic Wawona Hotel...which happens to be national historic site.  I think it would be a grand old place to stay.  It also looked most lovely at dusk...we noticed as we passed by at the end of the tour.

In the afternoon we wandered about among the giant sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.  The grove contains some 500 mature giant sequoia trees...known to be thousands of years old.

And did I mention...giant?  I took a few photos of this particular tree...and stitched them together in order to have the entire tree n one photo!

The trees pictured here all come with important names as well...from the fallen Monarch to the Grizzly Giant to the Clothespin Tree and the California Tunnel.  One must see them to believe them!

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you...
and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir 1901

If you ever have the opportunity...experience Yosemite!  It happens to be Thanksgiving Day in the USA today.  I am thankful for all those who had the foresight to set aside some of the country's most beautiful and scenic places for all to enjoy...the U.S. National Parks. 


  1. Thanks for taking the time to put this picture book together for us. Most interesting. It has been well said -- we are awed!!

  2. Wonderful tour Judy! Your pictures are beautiful. I love the reflections. The last time I was at Yosemite was when I was about 5...

  3. This is a great tour, Judy. An awesome example of the Creator's work. And I love the John Muir quotation you used.

  4. Thank you for some fresh glimpses of my favorite national park! "Majestically beautiful" are certainly the perfect words to describe it. I love that heart you found too.

  5. Thank you for your excellent photos! I had truly forgotten this beauty - I think it was in the 80s we were there! Gorgeous vistas!

  6. I think I have a new challenge for your next adventure...coming up soon. Maybe it's called Rock Climbing.
    I love that one close up photo of you and your beloved.
    There are so many beautiful parks.

  7. Wow! Beautiful ... love the photo of you on top of the world!
    Hope you are feeling that way again today.

  8. Gorgeous Judy! Have you ever checked out Ansel Adams' black and white photos of the park? My sister was gifted with one and it is spectacular! Like you, he saw the park through a very creative eye.

  9. What a great group of photos. I've realized that I've never been there and I'm not sure why. Need to plan a trip. The views seem delightful.

  10. Breathtaking! Your photos give a taste of what it is like - another world up there among the pinnacles. The rocks and giant trees - larger than life. I enjoyed the beautiful quotes that accompanied the photos.

  11. Yosemite is one of my favorite places, Judy. You were indeed lucky to still see the Yosemite waterfall so late in the season as it is usually just a trickle of water in the fall.

    I think we saw the same coyote on our last

    I loved all your photos .. especially the stitched photo of the old giant sequoia which shows its tremendous size!

  12. Beautiful Judy. We were saying ...did we go there? Then we saw all your pictures and said no we did not but think we should.

  13. We just love your photos over here at our house! You always give us a taste for

  14. I hope to visit "Yosemite Park", but until I do, thank you for sharing the majesty of a beautiful place. I am sure I will read someday that you and your husband will have climbed "Half Dome" and I won't be surprised.

  15. Yosemite National Park is definitely a place i'd love to visit. Your photos are just spectacular Judy. You must have loved every minute of your holiday!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson