Lori Carey Photography

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

July Road Trip III - Yosemite NP

From General's Highway in Sequoia National Park we took CA180 to 41N to 140E. We'd been on the road over 12 hours now and had covered over 500 miles. We decided to check in to our hotel so we could clean up and relax a bit before heading out for sunset. Bill couldn't resist the pool, and I had a hard time dragging him away from it. We have an understanding that mornings and evenings are for me because I need to work around the light, and mid-day is for whatever he wants to do. It usually works, but it can be hard on him because I'm always pushing for early mornings and late nights.

Our hotel was 15 miles outside the entrance to Yosemite, which doesn't seem bad until you realize how big Yosemite is and how far we would have to drive to find a suitable location for sunset. We stopped in Wawona to gas up and find some food in the little market. It was slim pickings food-wise, but we were pleased to find small bottles of wine at a dirt-cheap price (I'm not picky when I'm living out of my backpack!), and so we grabbed a couple of them and a package of salami and cheese for sunset picnic dinner. We asked the clerk where she would recommend as a fairly close-by spot for sunset, and she recommended Glacier Point.

It wasn't exactly 15 minutes down the road like she said, and for a while there we wondered if we had missed a turn. Altogether it was over 50 miles from our hotel! Bill was tired and really just wanted to go back to the hotel to sleep, but I wasn't about to miss an opportunity for some great light. When we finally reached Washburn Point (N37.72025 W119.57263), an overlook on the road to Glacier Point, I was glad that the magnificent view of Half Dome and Vernal and Nevada waterfalls took his mind off of his need for sleep. Most people drive right past this overlook and just continue on to Glacier Point, but the views here are definitely worth stopping for. We stared in awe for a while, took the obligatory "I was here" photos and then continued on to Glacier Point.

Glacier Point itself it was overwhelmingly crowded and buses just kept bringing more people. I was so tired that I really didn't feel like trying to set up amidst all those people, so we started hiking and found a nearby viewpoint with an outstanding view of Half Dome and the falls, and absolutely no people. Well, most of the time there were no people. After Bill spread out the blanket for our picnic dinner and I had set up the camera, we were joined for a little while by a couple and their adorable little toddler. I took a few photos of them with their camera and we chatted a bit. He was quite knowledgeable about Yosemite and pointed several things out to us. As the light began changing and it became obvious that it was the only thing holding my attention, they drifted away.

We drank our cheap wine out of the bottle and munched on salami and cheese as we watched the sun drift lower and the light on the mountains turn a warm pink. There were very few clouds in the sky, so it wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped, but Half Dome was soon glowing in the warm light of sunset.

We stayed until well after dark when all of the people had left, and then started the long drive back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

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