Monday, June 05, 2006

Trip Part 3 - Yosemite

We divided our trip into two general parts. The first half, wine country and Monterey, were Wendy's half. They were her responsibility to plan, but more than that it was really what she wanted to do. I certainly enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn't have done it on my own.

The second half was my part. So naturally I dragged Wendy off to walk up some mountains and see some terrain. The first day we went to one of the most famous parks in the world, Yosemite.

(As an aside, I feel like kind of an idiot writing about the Yosemite Valley. It's been written and photographed by the best for decades. What can I really add to that? But I guess not that many people saw it that day, so here goes.)

A number of rainstorms had gone through just before we got there, leaving plenty of water behind, so my biggest impression is of waterfalls. Lots and lots of waterfalls. Big ones, little ones, long ones, even places that are more water trickling down rocks that real waterfalls. It was really a change of pace coming from Colorado, where I think I've seen maybe one waterfall.

My main goal that day was to hike up to Nevada falls, but we stopped on the way to take a few pictures. We took a quick detour to see Bridalveil Falls. There's an up close viewing area at the base of the falls which is completely drenched in the spray and backsplash. It's a lot like walking into a rainstorm. It reminded me a lot of Iguacu, only smaller. No less wet though - I ended up completely soaked!

The hike up to Nevada begins on the aptly named Mist Trail. The trail starts out dry, but the second half is a stairway up the cliffside next to Vernal Falls. The entire trip up the cliff was awash with the spray and mist from the falls. In fact the stairs had a small stream running down it in most places. I have to say I was amazed by some of the people I saw climbing this steep, long stairway up a cliffside in the rain. Lots of older people, overweight people, ill-prepared people (ie, wearing flip-flops). But I guess if you want it badly enough you can do it.

The rest of the climb to Nevada falls was fairly steep, but nothing particularly remarkable. And I'm getting tired of writing this long narrative. So I'll just point you at the rest of the pictures. Have at it!

No comments: