A Gentleman and a Rogue

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dems Bears in Those Woods #2 (My vacation in Yosemite) #yosemite #vacation


My Inner Girl, Half-Dome, and a ton of Granite




Our first day at Yosemite proved exciting. We were in a "loop" (at Wawona) and every spot was taken. Our fellow campers crawled out of their tents between 6:30-7 am. Okay, it was early. My Inner Girl dragged me to the restroom where I brushed my teeth and popped in my contacts. There was no soap or anything to dry your hands in the potty. Thank goodness the toilet paper was provided. Drip dry is not my thing.

My DH cooked up breakfast and then we were off. Our destination: the Valley Floor. The road felt long. It had a lot of curves and kept going up. I learned that Dramine was my husband's best friend. When he got to the top, we drove through a tunnel and exited to the most gorgeous view in the world – El Captian, Half Dome, and the 3 Brothers granite rock formations. Of course my husband parked the truck and we took a million pictures. (That view is on my California Yosemite license plate.)

After our photo op, we drove down to the Valley Floor and found Bridelveil Falls. Eager to hike, we poured out of the truck, took more pictures and raced off to the trail. The falls itself seemed but a trickle; it was a thin stream of water. There were no rushing cascades of H20, no spray, no loud noises, no "Ansel Adams" vibrant photo opportunities, just a slow, small steady stream of water – and a ton of people.

The Inner Girl felt a little overwhelmed. In my 20's, a crowd of people never bothered me. Now in my 40's, I can't help but feel a little nervous.



In my Ranger book, I listed Bridelveil Falls as my special place in Yosemite. What impressed me the most was how a lot of natural elements came together – water, granite rocks, trees, birds, the sun. I've always felt a deep spirituality in nature and this spot embodied that for me. My son, Andrew, has an Ansel Adams 4x6 of Bridelveil, but my goal is to order a poster for the house, to remind me of the spirituality the spot invokes.

After visiting Bridelveil, we parked in the Valley day lot and set out exploring. After hopping a bus or two, the family found the Valley Visitor Center. I took a picture with the AAA Westways Magazine. (Now, I just have to find the time to email it in.) I discovered glaciers formed Yosemite. (like much of my childhood home, New Hampshire, was.) We got our bearing, ate lunch at Denigan's Café, and bused it over the Yosemite Lodge for tram tickets.



Before leaving, we found the Ansel Adams Gallery. My Inner Girl died and went to Black and White Heaven. What I love about Adams is his ability to capture the beauty of Yosemite with black and white photography. My favorite photo of his is "Moon Over Half Dome." During my time in Yosemite, I learned that it's such a dynamic place to take pictures, and black and white photography works better than color prints. There are a lot of shadows in Yosemite due to the stark, granite terrain, steep elevations, and old, majestic trees. Black and white captures the shadows much better than color.  



Our trip back to Wawona was uneventful. My DH broke out the Dutch oven and he cooked up a pork rib, BBQ sauce meal with carrots and celery. Joe wrote in his journal. I helped the boys with their Ranger books. Soon, nighttime was upon us.

Before I depart, I wanted to touch a little bit on Half Dome. The view from the tunnel makes it appear that at one point it was more rounded and an "event" occurred that broke it in half. This is not the case. Half Dome formed naturally it its appearance. To hike up to Half Dome, you need a permit. Maybe if I was younger I'd be up to the challenge, but nowadays, I'll have to pass.

Next: My Inner Girl takes a tram ride with the boys.

Question: What kind of souvenir would like to receive from Yosemite?


19 comments:

  1. I visited there after the RWA SF conference. As we were driving in, the firetrucks were driving out. But the park was awesome. I hiked with Handsome all over. I'd cherish an Ansel Adams photo. In fact, saw one at a friend's office of half dome recently. Happy vacation!

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    1. Vicki, thanks so much sharing. Yosemite is such a special place. It really tugs on the heartstrings.

      Smiles
      Steph

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  2. Thanks Stephanie for sharing. I'd love to see it first hand. It sounds like heaven.

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    1. Melissa, if you plan ahead, you'll be able to see it for a very reasonable price. If anything, I found the food was expensive.

      Smiles
      Steph

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  3. Steph--we, too, loved Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls. Especially, the Falls. We hung around there for a long time--it's just too awesome.
    Thanks for your travelogue, and showing us your Inner Girl.

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    1. Celia, when did you go? Summer time? I definately want to see the park during different times of the year.

      Smiles
      Steph

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  4. Sounds fantastic, Steph. A place to put on my must-see in USA.

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    1. Linda, it was my first time. It took my breath away.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  5. Stephanie, I was about ten when we visited Yosemite. I can still remember a song the Park Ranger taught us. Dare I repeat it, here?

    Ohhhh, I put my head in a little skunk's hole.
    The little skunk said, 'lord bless my soul,
    Take it out, take it out. Reeee-move it.'
    **
    I didn't do want the little skunk said.
    The little skunk said, 'you'll wish you were dead,
    Take it out. Take it out.' (Spraying sound). 'I removed it!'

    I remember laughing till my skinny kid sides caved in. What fun.
    Thanks for the great memory.

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    1. LOL. One of the girls taught us a song too about "sh*t" but didn't actually use the word. It was very funny.

      Smiles
      Steph

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  6. I haven't been to Yosemite in ages. I've been fortunate to have visited Bridal Veil Falls in summer and winter. I've seen it full of water, down to a trickle and iced over. It's beautiful no matter the weather.

    Janice~

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    1. Janice, I'd love to see it iced over. Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  7. Camping in Yosemite is my dream vacation, but I doubt I'll ever make it out west again for something like that. I'll just have to experience it through your trip. Thanks.

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    1. Carol, if you do, let us know. It really is a wonderful experience.
      Smiles
      Steph

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  8. I had a similar spiritual experience there Steph. We went in late May. I had read that the waterfalls are at their best when the snow melts in the Spring. Some parts were still closed due to heavy snow though, but it was 80's in the valley. Thanks for sharing another part of your journey!

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    1. Aly, I bet the waterfalls were a lot more "flowing." Did you take a lot of pictures? Where did you stay?

      Smiles
      Steph

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  9. I've been to Yellowstone, but not Yosemite. Wonderful pictures and sounds like you had a great time! I brought back a Christmas ornament from Yellowstone, along with 3 rolls of pictures, so that's what I would get (along with a pen or scratch pad) if I went to Yosemite.

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    1. Yellowstone sounds like it would be fun, too. They have a National Parks Passport that I bought and put my Yosemite stamps in it. Do you have that?

      Smiles
      Steph

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  10. Great descriptive words in expressing your emotions in visiting Yosemite. I've never been there but I'd love to especially see the waterfalls.

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