Yosemite Valley

After eating breakfast, the three of us climbed into my car and we headed out for the nearest Yosemite park entrance. It’s a short drive from the Dimond O campground. When we arrived at the park gate there was a long line of cars waiting patiently to get in. Our turn at the head of the line eventually came after 20 minutes or so. Jamie was generous and paid for our weekend park pass.

Driving away from the ranger’s gate we were absorbed by a slow moving road snake of heavy traffic. I was surprised to see this many people crawling around everywhere in Yosemite. Due to sluggish traffic our descent into the Yosemite valley caused me to keep my foot buried on the brake pedal. My driver’s side disc brake rotor was being ground to hell which made me increasingly worried. The drive took entirely too long, but we made it safely in one piece. I could relax a little bit once the three of us were cruising along level pavement. Since the drive back to Dimond O later in the day would be all uphill I wasn’t too concerned about that. Relieved that the worst of the day’s travel was over I tried to concentrate on getting Jamie and Autumn to where they wanted to go.

I could barely see the tail lights of the car ahead of us. The air was filled by thick white smoke that looked like heavy fog you would normally encounter at the beach. Fine ash fell from the sky like snow all around us. There must have been a hectic forest fire raging somewhere nearby. What timing. I mean, the whole reason people tour Yosemite is because of the amazing views to be had from that valley. Smoke kept us from seeing anything more than twenty feet away in every direction.

Winding along the road we passed hundreds of parked cars lining the shoulder wherever there was enough room. There didn’t seem to be anyplace for us to stop. As Jamie and Autumn discussed with each other about where to go first I commenced making laps in a long route searching for someplace to ditch the car. Things were starting off badly. We got caught behind a big tour bus. Sensing some tension brewing I decided to pull over on a dirt track that led away from the main road into a line of trees. There weren’t many cars jammed all over this location so it seemed as good a place as any we had come across yet.

As we stepped out of the car Jamie announced he wanted to do some rock climbing. Neither Autumn or myself were up for that so we were going to hike around and then meet with Jamie back at the car in a while. We agreed upon a time and then parted ways.

I was having a difficult time breathing because of the forest fire smoke.

Picking up a well worn trail Autumn and I walked together through forests of tall trees and piles of fallen rocks. For a time we hiked at the base of a sheer rock wall until the trail we were on headed upwards into the cliffs above at a steep incline. I didn’t think I would be in good enough shape to make it up the trail especially huffing amounts of thick smoke. So we doubled backwards, finding other trails that criss-crossed through the valley. Fortunately for me by early afternoon the smoke began to thin out and disappear. There was still a visible haze in the air, but we were finally able to see a considerable distance away. Autumn and I took turns using a digital camera to take some shots of Yosemite’s rock formations.

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~ by factorypeasant on February 21, 2007.

4 Responses to “Yosemite Valley”

  1. Great pics… did you all make it out of there without maiming anyone?

  2. yeah the drive out late that afternoon was easy. i was thrashed though. we ended up meeting jamie at the base of a jagged rock pile and then hopped into a river that was ice cold. that wasn’t much fun. after that we headed back for dimond o. more coming up on that tomorrow.

  3. man great shots…reminds me of climbing half dome on acid in high school.

    DT

  4. thx d00d.

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