Sunrise at Yosemite

My Brief Trip To Yosemite…

My brief trip to Yosemite was supposed to be a 4-night camping trip but it was shortened due to the threat of rain. Nevertheless, the trip was pretty fruitful. I got a nice spot at Crane Flat on Sunday afternoon. The park, and mostly the valley, was blanketed by smoke, most of it came from the Tenaya Fire. Consequently I had, mentally, written off scenic photos. But on the way to the campsite I saw the sun trying to peak out through the smoke and cloud cover. I was reminded of an Albert Bierstadt painting. So I thought I’d check out Tunnel View in the morning and got this:

I was planning to spend the day at the Yosemite Research Library, but I didn’t have much of an agenda because I wasSunrise at Yosemite mostly interested in what resources they had available. There is a charge from some services like photocopying and image scanning for which I wasn't totally prepared. I was interested in finding out a couple things about James Mason Hutchings that my readings provided ambiguous results. Also, I wanted some details about the structures and locations of early building in the park. At the last second before the lunch break, I found a list created by the son of an early hotel operator that identified many of the early buildings. So I sprung for the photocopying on that and called it a day.

That afternoon I visited the Yosemite Pioneer Cemetery again. For an up coming blog post I am going to talk about the 45 people buried here and I wanted to take photos of each of the head stones. I wasn’t quite prepared for the cathartic reaction I had revisiting the cemetery. I have spent a great deal of time looking up details on each of the people buried here and it is like I knew them. The saddest part is that of the forty five people buried here, eight were children. Of those, four were under the age of 4 and one was an infant. Okay, dry your eyes, more on all that later.

Yosemite CemeteryI went back to camp and treated myself to some leftover fried chicken I had barbecued before I left. I noticed that the forecast was for rain on Tuesday. It had sprinkled a bit while I was at the cemetery and I really didn’t want to deal with that. So I packed it in the next morning.

Now, I know, you’re saying, “But, Yosemite Jeff, you were going to try a hike.” Well, yeah, I was. And I did, sort of. After taking the sunrise picture above, I went back to camp and did one of my freeze-dried breakfasts (really pretty good, actually). I then went back to the valley. In the parking lot at the Village Store I “packed up” with my camera bag and laptop and trekked all the way to the Yosemite Museum. I had to stop once (near the Degnan’s Deli) for a breather (I thought I could smell coffee). So, that counts, doesn’t it?

John Muir HomeI visited my Dad in Santa Cruz and then on the way back, I stopped in Martinez to visit John Muir’s Home.

I could tell immediately that this is a place my wife would love to see, so I just did a quick tour and spent some time talking with the Ranger. I did run upstairs to take a picture of his den where he spent most of his time writing.

The park service is now running this “historic site” and admission is free. John Muir’s grave site is near by on public land, but it is landlocked by private property, so you can’t get to it without going through someone’s yard or driveway or parachuting (but then getting out would be problematical). The park service, apparently, is working with the property owners to work out a public access route to the site where people can pay their respects. I was short on time (I had a “hot date” with my brother up in Sparks, NV and didn’t want to be late). Consequently, I didn’t bother trying to see the grave site or inquire where it was.

John Muir's StudyAll in all, it was a productive trip and I should have some posts sharing what I discovered soon.