“Yosemite Valley, for me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”
Everyone has some knowledge of Yosemite National Park whether from the many spiritual and philosophical writings, especially those of John Muir, founder of The Sierra Club; through the high resolution black and white photographs of Ansel Adams; as a back drop for over two hundred films including Ken Burns’ National Parks Documentaries or perhaps through the rock climbing footage at El Capitan (3593’) and Half Dome (8836’). Yosemite’s granite monoliths, waterfalls, Merced River, forests and meadows and Ahwahnee Inn are legendary.
Our visit to Yosemite was nothing short of spectacular! We filled our day with as much driving, walking and hiking as we could squeeze in: gasping at our first sight of El Capitan and The Yosemite Valley after emerging from Tunnel View; watching prisoners working a controlled bush fire; picnicking in Cooks Meadow in front of Columbia Rock; touring the Wilderness Centre and Indian Cultural Museum; stopping at the Ansel Adams Studio where he worked and lived in the 1930’s; strolling beside the historic bridges crossing the Merced River; viewing Half Dome from many angles and perspectives; watching the water dance over Bridal Veil Falls and Upper(6936’) and Lower Yosemite Falls; sipping beverages at The Ahwahnee and passing Sentinel Dome(8132’), Mariposa Sequoia Groves, Curry Village and Cathedral Rocks and Spires. Driving out of the park, the sunset drenched the granite in gold and pink. Night pushed down, sealing the wax on the envelope that brimmed with our Yosemite memories.
I will accompany the balance of photos with words from “Meditations of John Muir” Wilderness Press
“Yosemite Valley in the basin of the Merced River at an elevation of 4000’ is about seven miles long, half a mile to a mile wide, and nearly a mile deep in the solid flank of the range. The walls are made up of rocks, mountains in size, partly separated from each other by canyons, and they are so sheer in front, and so compactly and harmoniously arranged that the Valley looks like an immense hall or temple lighted from above.”
“ Our task is to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.” Albert Einstein
“ One impulse from a vernal wood, will teach you more of man, of moral evil and good, than all the sages can.” William Wordsworth
“Nature, the gentlest Mother is.” Emily Dickinson
“These are the music and pictures of the most ancient religion.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserve of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Rachel Carson
“To lovers of the wild, these mountains are not a hundred miles away. Their spiritual power and goodness of the sky make them near, as a circle of friends. You cannot feel yourself out of doors: plain, sky and mountains ray beauty which you feel. You bathe in these spirit-beams, turning round and round, as if warming at a camp-fire. Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence; you blend with the landscape, and become part and parcel of nature.” John Muir
“The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling, keen lance rays of every colour flashing, sparkling in glorious abundance, joining the plants in their fine, brave beauty-work- every crystal, every flower in a window opening to the heavens……Toward sunset, enjoyed a fine run to camp……enjoying wild excitement, and so ends a day that will never end.” John Muir