Yosemite Selfie

Getting Excited About My Next Trip To Yosemite…

Valley-of-the-Yosemite-1864-largeNext weekend I’m going to visit my dad with my brother and help him with some things around the house, but since that’s quite a jaunt for me (he’s in Santa Cruz, CA and I’m in Bullhead City, AZ) I thought I’d break it up with a layover at Yosemite. I’ve been trying to get out there since we moved here last November, but alas, I couldn’t make it happen.

I saw a note on Facebook that Yosemite Museum is displaying some artwork from original artists in Yosemite’s past. Works of Thomas Ayers and Albert Biernstadt are among those being shown. The Ayers works are, apparently, from his 1855 trip with James Hutchings, one of the first visitors and, eventually, first full time resident of the valley. I’ll save for another time to discuss his tragic story, but his drawings were used by Hutchings in California Magazine, which he published to promote discovery of the Valley in 1851 (see the black and white drawing as an example of his work).

Biernstadt’s works maybe more familiar as his paintings are often seen when depicting the park (or, atthe_yo-semite_falls_by_thomas_ayres least, suggesting the era. I’ve copies of his paintings on TV shows as office décor). In this example from 1864, it is looking west along the north side of the Merced River. El Capitan is on the right. I’ve seen copies of his work (if not originals) hanging at the Ahwahnee. They are huge 4 or 5 foot tall renderings. I sure hope there will be someone there that is familiar with the period as well as the artists. In my research of park history, I have developed about a thousand million questions.

On this trip, I’d also like to see how Hetch Hetchy is dong. On my last trip (almost a year to the day) it was full and overflowing the side spillways. I’d also like to get some geologic photos in the back country. Also, I’ve been thinking about the “photo walk” for about 9 AM…hmmmm….I’m not sure how smart that will be. I’ve been on group walks before and people tend to get really despondent with my pace.

As a first, I’ll be camping rather than staying at a hotel or tent cabins. I guess the days of $35 and $40 per night Camp Curry stays are over and, on short notice, you can’t get a stay in the park at any cost. So this will be interesting. If it works out, I may have found a way to visit this and other parks more frequently.