Before my mother passed on February 8 I made the decision that whatever happened, I would still go on the trip to Yosemite National Park that I had been planning for several months. I really wasn’t expecting her to pass that soon. She was one tough lady and I thought she would go on for another year at least. But the nurses were right and I was wrong. I’m glad I made the decision beforehand because I had already gone through all the guilt feelings and “what would people think” before it happened.
As it turned out, everybody was very supportive of my decision to “get out of town” the weekend after her death. I made all the arrangements and had everything in hand before I left.
The trip was organized by the West Los Angeles Group of the Sierra Club and three of my friends were traveling companions. As soon as I stepped on the bus I knew I had made the right decision.
While it is extremely difficult to take a truly unique picture of such a well-photographed area, it is also nearly impossible to take a completely terrible photo too. Believe me, I tried!
We left West LA at 7:00am on Friday, February 13 and after a stop to pick up more passengers in the San Fernando Valley, we were on our way!
We took a picnic lunch break somewhere along the way and around 3:30pm we arrived at this picturesque spot within Yosemite for our first photo opportunity.
I had signed up for the trip with the hope of seeing Yosemite in the snow. My last trip here was a camping adventure during the summer some years previously. We stayed near Tuolumne Meadows. This time, as it was February after all, I was looking forward to hiking in the white stuff.
Well, the only white stuff was the water falling off the mountain. I had been keeping track of the weather reports the week before and knew the temperatures were going to be around 70F (21C). Not exactly the weather for skiing!
Yes, I was a little disappointed but you cannot beat the fantastic scenery Mother Nature presents at Yosemite. I felt sorry for the people who depend on the snow for their living as usually at this time of year the park is teeming with people carrying skis and snow shoes. But I felt more sorry for the animals whose routines have been upset by this strange turn of events.
First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
Yosemite presents a glaciated landscape. The scenery, resulting from the interaction of the glaciers and the underlying rocks, was the basis for Yosemite’s preservation as a national park. Yosemite is nearly 95 percent designated Wilderness.
The 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls are the tallest waterfalls in North America.
Located in the northern half of California, Yosemite is 195 miles from San Francisco or 315 miles from Los Angeles.
Our first glimpse of El Capitan as our bus stopped for the photo op. I was so happy to be in the midst of such magnificent scenery and we still had two full days ahead of us to enjoy the park.
The ecosystem at the park reaches from below 3,000 feet to over 13,000 feet in elevation. Geologists, hydrologists and geographers continue to investigate and document the landscape. But we were there to relax, get some exercise and enjoy the scenery.
Parts two and three coming up pronto… stay tuned!
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