Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yosemite National Park - Yosemite Valley

After Coit Tower, we crossed over the Bay Bridge and then headed east through Oakland. The next part of the honeymoon trip was taken to visit a rarely visited park, one that has hardly had any photographs taken of it. Or no, we were going to Yosemite. It's a place that we both really wanted to visit. And as someone who particularly enjoys photography, it seemed like a perfect place to go.

We drove east, eventually heading out of the city and into the country. It was a nice break after being in a crowded city like San Francisco. It only took a few hours driving to reach the park (we stayed at a lodge just outside of the park entrance). This was an old barn along the way there.


We were really worried that we wouldn't be able to make the trip. We were there about a week or so after the end of the federal government shutdown. Luckily everything was sorted out, finally, and we were able to enjoy the park. It's an amazingly beautiful place. The pictures don't do it justice.

The first stop was the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We didn't do the hike into the grove, which I regret. A winter storm had passed through there a few days prior, and there was a few inches of snow on the ground. It was pretty, the tall trees and the white snow. We got a few pictures in the parking lot before heading out. Yosemite is so beautiful it's hard to see all that you want to see.


We got into the rental car and headed deeper into the park. This is an overlook just before we entered Yosemite Valley.


We didn't have the best weather there (for photos, at least). I had hoped for a few clearing winter storms, but it was just sunny. We went through the tunnel and saw the whole valley laid out below us. We drove down and stopped at Bridalveil Fall. Before heading out, I heard that most of the waterfalls at Yosemite would be dry. But luckily a few were running. The recent snows had melted enough to get some of the falls running.


Bridalveil Fall is 617 feet tall, and I tried to scurry over the rocks to get close to the base.


We got back in the car and decided to stop somewhere for a little picnic lunch. We ended up at the picnic area for Sentinel Beach. I walked down to the Merced River and was amazed to see this view...


The fall colors in the valley were amazing, right at peak.



We got back into the car, and stopped at the Swinging Bridge. Upper Yosemite Falls was completely dry, but the view was still amazing.



The shadows started to creep across the valley as the day got later.



And the view of the valley, taken at the Valley View overlook.


And a view of Half Dome, from the Stoneman Bridge.


I tried to not get run over as I ran across the bridge to get this view of the mountains towering over the Merced River.


And then we headed up to Tunnel View, which may be the most viewed and photographed place in the park. I set up my camera, like the millions of photographers who have tried to follow in Ansel Adam's footsteps. Sunset came and went, and I took a bunch of pictures...


We headed back to the lodge, ready to head back to Yosemite the next day...


Don Dailey said...

Great photos, Brian. Looks like it was a great trip.

Cormackphotos said...

It was great, can't wait to go back!