The first time I went to Yosemite, the very first thing I did was to go to the Mariposa Grove. It was a magical experience as I got there around 6am and had most of the Grove to myself, tromping here and there. This time around with my buddy Matt, we arrived much later in the day and while the crowds were greater, the light was different and caused fascinating shadows on the big trees.
It was interesting to visit the park at a different time of year (previously I visited in May which, considering the snow and rain, could have been February or March) and to see the differences. Clearly, things had dried out more and lush meadows were replaced with more pine needles but the light was special that day, even on the trails
and off them in the woods
It was a great day to scramble around, beat the crowds to lesser known trees and to find a fabled albino redwood. What is an albino redwood you might ask? Well I didn't know until I saw one myself in the park. After a bit of scrambling, this came fully into view.
Sure some of you might say, "that's just a regular redwood that fire or something else has turned white" but I say, "BAH" its magic! A magical albino redwood and I got to see it. It is such a weird looking tree but so unusual, definitely one of the highlights of my trip to the Grove.
Also, this stump.
(what can I say? I am a sucker for good lighting)
Yes everyone by now knows the quintessential shot of Yosemite as framed by the "tunnel view" as pictured above. Of course, people neglect to mention how impactful that view can be view in person, viewing it for the very first time. As some of my loyal readers might recall, the last time I visited Yosemite, it was rather rainy and that view was completely lost in the clouds and rain. Seeing it person was an amazing, amazing sight.
The view is truly stunning, something that pictures can't convey. Of course, everyone at tunnel view, me included, were busy taking pictures, thus creating a paradox (perhaps only for me). After taking the requisite photos, I put down the camera and just took the view in on my own.
Time is forever fleeting and I had to put shoes to the pedals of the car to get to my retreat for the night but I will always remember this great day in Yosemite.
Stay Tuned For Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!
P.S. I think the area OUTSIDE of the Yosemite Park on 140 gets short shrift by the blogs and websites but let me tell you, that is an impressive river valley with huge mountains on both sides. While the country seems mostly inaccessible to hikers and clearly lower on the protection totem than its bigger brother, this country is impressive. Impressive in its scale and breadth and if you want some great views and possibly great fishing, take a trip down 140 sometime.