Yosemite Valley in Full Summer SplendorAug 16th, 2011 | By Lulu del Rosario | Category: Adventure, Featured
I was 16 when I first visited Yosemite. I won’t tell you how many moons ago that was, but suffice to say it was more than 29. Okay maybe 35 (keep guessing). I was transplanted in America fresh out of an all girl convent school abroad and was living here as an exchange student. Mind you, from where I grew up, we didn’t
sleep in tents and the outdoors camp. I was pretty sheltered and when we visited mountain resort areas, we stayed in a country club.
The first time I did sleep in the open outdoors in a tube tent , well ~ I didn’t sleep (hello, bear!!). But I loved it then. I knew I’d love it again.
I remember seeing Yosemite the first time. It was spectacular and Mother Nature at her finest. We wet our feet on the cold Merced river. I distinctly remember the sensation from the spray of water on our faces from the Lower Yosemite Falls. I remember Half Dome and El Capitan. Between that year and this past month, Yosemite was a vivid memory, but still one that was cherished. So I went back for Visit Number Two. And she was still a sight to behold.
Our visit to the valley floor was at the tail end of a short weekender at Mammoth Lakes. On the way, we stopped a few times to take in the view and the scenery around us. Granite mountains every which way interrupted by meadows, valleys and the occasional waterfall. I had my camera with me the entire time we were on the road, trying to gauge which lens to use to do justice to what I was hoping to capture.
It costs $20 per auto these days to enter the park. The fee allows you in and out privileges for 7 days. It was busy the day we were there but the weather was perfect, so patience was not lacking. We were happy to be getting out of town and communing with Ma Nature in her hard rock glory and water-filled basins.
Here are a few shots of Half Dome from outside the valley. I had taken the photo with my walkabout lens (24-70mm f/2.8) and whipped out the zoom lens to take a shot up close. I was having fun
Half Dome from outside the valley shot with a Canon 24-70m lens
To the left of this vantage point you could walk down the rocks. Way down the rocks. I preferred to photograph the people who kept getting smaller and smaller.
We visited the valley on our way back to the Bay Area. It was warmer the day we went, about 20 degrees warmer from where we were at Mammoth Mountain and 11,053 feet high. But it didn’t matter. We were no longer suffering from altitude sickness (forgot about that!!) and by the time we had to hike up to the waterfall, our hearts and muscles had been exercised in higher ground. We felt like spring chickens!
Here’s more of El Capitan, the grand daddy of rocks!
And my favorite part of all, the waterfalls.
Please click to view images of Bridal Veil and the Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls
You have to look up close to see how BIG the falls are, notice the teeny bitty people down below!! Unfortunately, this was the same day there was a drowning by one of the other falls in Yosemite, Vernal Falls. We did not get there during this visit as we wanted to head back towards home before the rest of humanity made their way back from work. It was lovely taking in the mist from the lower falls. We watched from the bridge and then move a little bit further as my camera was getting too much water.
Here’s a short video clip: