Saturday, May 11, 2019

Yosemite - big waterfalls and big trees

Ah, Yosemite!  A magical place.  We've been only once before but I feel like I know it much better than that.  And yet I believe every time we go we'll find new and wonderful things we hadn't noticed before.

Last time was in the fall, and every spring since then we've been like "now would surely be a great time to visit Yosemite!"  With all the snowfall in the Sierras last winter, we knew we really needed to make an effort to get there.  It was a bit of a drive for a weekday overnight excursion, but it was worth it.

Yep, I can confirm that the waterfalls are running full blast - woo hoo!

There was really only one choice for us, the trail to Upper Falls.  Yes, it would also be amazing to see Nevada/Vernal Falls in the spring - one of many reasons to go back again someday.  Last time I believe the Upper Falls trail was closed because of wildfires.  Not today!

Enjoying the views on the way up, amid a bunch of granite droppings:

Waterfalls everywhere, big and small, we had no idea how many places water would drop off into the valley in the spring:

Such a beautiful day for a hike:

Upper Falls was fan-tas-tic... the booming noise, hearing rocks churning at the bottom, trying to envision just how much water was falling, and feeling mist from quite some distance (and even rain when the trail went through the trees) - wow!

John spotted a couple climbers across the way, well, that gave some sense of scale.  They look so tiny, and this is a zoomed in (and cropped) photo:

Fun trail up through the drainage to the side of the falls, I'm super impressed with how they built it, even if the short little steps aren't the easiest things to navigate when going back down.

Approaching the overlook to the falls at the top:

Well now, this view is right up John's alley:

Holy cannoli, the little trail goes to a viewing spot right next to the top of Upper Falls!  With a glimpse straight down to the canyon that is the middle section of the falls:

An attempt to capture a tiny bit of the experience:

The noise and volume of water were stunning.

Not to mention the views:

We had no idea it would be this good!

The river as it barreled toward the edge of the cliff:

John in his element:

I just love this area!

On Yosemite Point with an excellent view of Half Dome:

Hello Mr Raven!  We watched a raven soar and then turn upside-down, I kid you not, glide that way a short distance with its feet up in the air, then turn back right side up.  Always keep an eye on gliding ravens, especially right after they "squawk!"

Yep, pretty spectacular:

After the long hike back down to the valley floor, we took a slight detour to the bottom of Lower Falls.  Another fun experience - this one involving fast-moving wet wind!  Bring a rain jacket, it's loud and moist.

We camped at Wawona at a very nice site along a creek, quite pleasant.  That put us close to Mariposa Grove for a morning of big tree exploration.  Carrying weighted packs for training:

The paths around the grove and through the giant sequoias are so inviting:

Such beautiful trees!  Not as tall as redwoods but very wide:

Hello trees!

Even the dead ones are impressive (and it takes many years for them to decompose):

Now THAT'S a rootstock!

So beautiful:

Infinite diversity...

I love how some of the trees have names:

Not so much loving that someone once thought it was a good idea to do this, but glad we have stopped that practice:

Hey, here's where John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt sat around a campfire and discussed conservation!

This was the spot - thank you both!

There's a little "200 feet" sign on the left fence marking the approximate outer boundary of the root system of the Grizzly Giant in the background:

I've been watching too much Star Trek and Stranger Things, because this is a bit creepy...

With John for scale:

The Faithful Couple:

John was happy to have his saw along...   :)

With Marcy for scale:

Tree hugger:

Probably shouldn't pet the fisher... unless it's a statue:

Wonderful trip - thank you Yo!

1 comment:

Chris Basiletti said...

We love Yosemite and it has been way too long since we have been there. Seems like it is time for a trip up there.