Another shot at Yosemite

After a week's vacation, once again, I'm back in Modesto.

Saturday morning, I began to figure out what I could do to amuse myself.  I eliminated San Francisco because, there's just too many people, traffic and ...just too many people.  So, I thought I'd take another shot at Yosemite National Park.

The ride down and over from Modesto was pretty nice, riding through the rolling hills through very little traffic.  Arriving there, I once again presented my (I hate to admit this) Senior National Parks pass to get in free.  A couple of miles on the road winding around boulders as big as houses, I found myself stopping several times just to soak it all in.

I climbed down the the very low flowing river, found a couple of ducks that had no more fear of humans than the deer I  had seen a few weeks ago when Darlene came up to visit.


Even squirrels and chipmunks were sometimes within arm's reach.

The road into Yosemite Valley is not a through road.  There are the iconic monuments such as El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls, Mirror Lake and Yosemite falls, most of which can actually be observed from the comforts of your car if you're so inclined but you really can't appreciate it until you get out and walk.

The last time we were in Yosemite, the falls were completely dry but today, Bridal Veil had began to spray a little water over the top but not the signature Yosemite Falls.

I had hoped to see some fall flowers and colors other than brown grass but there just wasn't any flowers left.  I did find some tiny purple flowers near the edge of the road.  They were the last hold outs of the year.  Bear in mind, this is an extreme closeup shot and they are not larger than a half inch in diameter.  So that tiny bug in the center ( if you know how to zoom in on it - click the photo, hold down the ctrl key and scroll the wheel of your mouse) is very, very small.

This time of year, the crowds and traffic are greatly diminished but there were still plenty of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and buses.

Several times, I had passed a group of people with telescopes on tripods at the base of El Capitan.  A poster on the tailgate of a van encourage passers to "Ask A Climber".  OK, I believe I will.

I got out and walked over to a group of other curiosity seekers and eventually began to talk to a young woman who seemed very knowledgeable about climbers and what was actually going on.  It seemed her husband and a climbing partner were up on the side of that piece of solid granite, climbing to the top.  I've found amusement in a lot of dangerous things but I figure I have a lot more things to do before I run out of other things to do closer to the ground.  I believe that has to be worse than sky diving.  Again, if you can zoom in, there are 3 climbers in the very middle of this photo.

The lady told me that the trip up the side of that mountain would take 2 ½ days to reach the top and another half a day to walk down the trail behind it. She herself, was a climber.

It was virtually impossible to make them out without the benefit of a telescope or in my case, a 200 mm zoom lens on my camera.  Even that was really insufficient for a good look.

I watched for an hour or so, soaking in a lot of information I probably didn't really need to know.  She told me those big bags they were pulling up with them, was supplies including bedding (I don't know how they could sleep), food, climbing ropes and (you won't believe this) an orange colored bag to carry body waste in.  The rules are, you bring everything back with you, including that.  They also had a few beers that they would pop a top on to celebrate when they reached the top.

Of the climbers, there were four distinct groups in various places and heights on El Capitan.  One group of three were all females.

Anyway, it was a nice trip and really hated to head back into the setting sun.