The Original Set

These were among the earliest photos I ever tinkered with in Photoshop. Back then, it was Photoshop 2, and on a Mac IIsi it took forever to edit them. I also didn’t know half the techniques I understand today about manipulating color and brightness to bring out the best in an image. Still, some of the images survived my crude surgery. The pictures on this page are all from Thanksgiving 1995.

A backlit leaf on the way to dinner. (Click on the picture for a larger image.) On the way to the Ahwanee Hotel, we were walking along in our Sunday best (being on our way to Thanksgiving dinner) down a trail in the wooded valley floor. The weather was very nice, and the low winter sun poked through the trees here and there to great effect.

A burned-out meadow, some strategically placed mist, a miniature grove of several kinds of trees and a fortunate sun all came together to present this little treasure. (Click on the picture for a larger image.) This was not far from the Ahwanee Hotel, with Glacier Point (if I remember correctly) in the background.

Hiking up a cliff at the far end of the valley gave me some beautiful views. (Click on the picture for a larger image.)

The last full day we were there, Saturday after Thanksgiving, we took a little hike up the Snow Creek trail, behind Mirror Lake meadow (they're letting the lake fill in, so it’s a meadow now).

I had thought this would be a moderate climb; it sounded like fun. Turned out it was 3.5 miles straight up the rock wall of the valley, switchbacks all the way (except about a 25-foot stretch a third of the way up that was flat and even maybe slightly downhill . . . for 25 feet), a 2,600-foot climb. Great fun!

This is a shot back toward the valley from the trail. There were lots of trees along the way, which gave us a nice break from an unseasonably warm sun (it had been 65 or 70 degrees while we were there). Then there were more bare patches.

Anything you see in the background here is closer than where I had walked from; we had come up from the Lodge, which is both further up the valley and lower than whatever you can see from the trail.

I could probably put together a whole page of the fun signs I saw, but that will have to wait. For now, here’s one any non-management employee will understand.

Sunset up by “the Fissures” at Taft Point, the day after Thanksgiving. (Click on the picture for a larger image.) What looks like a fleck of lint up in the sky is actually a sliver crescent moon. Now that I have a telephoto lens, I can get better moon shots, but back then I was shooting only wide-angle.

The picture you're not going to get is from the Tioga Road on our way back down from Yosemite. We were very excited when we got there to see the road was still open that late in the season (it was the driest November on record in California at that point, or something close to it), but the night after we went up the Snow Creek trail, there was rain in the valley and snow up in the passes, and when we got up the next morning, the road condition signs said the Tioga Road was closed. So we had to head straight back down to town, instead of taking the pretty way back. : ( But we had had ourselves a fine time anyhow, so who's complaining?

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