Sunday, June 17, 2012


We stayed a week in an Escapees park in Coarsegold, CA.  Coarsegold was named for the quality of the nuggets found in the river there during the gold rush.  During that week we went to Yosemite twice, and visited one afternoon with my second cousins once removed in Exeter, CA.

Yosemite is awesome.  The valley was carved out of granite by glaciers, leaving smooth domes and sheer cliffs, which makes for lots of waterfalls.  On the first day we toured Yosemite Valley, and saw

El Capitan:

the largest monolithic chunk of granite in the world.  Some people were climbing the face as we were leaving the park:

Bridal Veil Falls

is the first waterfall you see on the way into the Valley.  Yosemite Falls
is the highest waterfall in North America, and the 5th highest in the world.  It falls 2475 feet in three stages (you can see the upper and lower in this picture).  The water comes from melting snow, and it often dries up completely in the summer.

On the second day, we went to Glacier Point, which is on the South rim of the valley, and to the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees (more sequoias).  From Glacier Point, at 7000 feet, you can see Half Dome really well
 There never was another half, the glaciers carved it that way, and pieces of rock have been falling off the face ever since.  There were climbers on Half Dome that day:
See them?  The trail is up the back side, not up the face like El Capitan.  There are other great views from Glacier Point.  The falls in this one are Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls, and the mountain peaks in the background are over 12,000 feet.  We hiked to the base of Vernal Falls on our first day.

 They cut holes in two of the sequoias in Yosemite in 1895, and built a road through one of them.  That tree fell down in 1969, no doubt helped by having a big hole cut in it, and so they didn't cut another, but the second is still standing.

There are more Big Tree pictures, but as someone said to us, once you've seen one 270-foot, 3,000-year-old tree, you've sort of seen them all.  But they are awesome.

1 comment:

  1. I want to do the hike up Half Dome. Getting in shape now.