A Thanksgiving Trip to Yosemite
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Here's a picture across a burned meadow not far from the Ahwanee Hotel. That would be the bottom of Glacier Point in the background, if I remember right.
On the way to the Ahwanee, 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. Here's a leaf from the trip.
We were out by Taft Point right around sunset the day after Thanksgiving. What looks like a fleck of lint on the negative here is actually a sliver crescent moon, which looks better on paper than on the screen. If I get a minute, I'll enhance this version so you can see it a little better.
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). 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 came up from the Lodge, which is both further up the valley and lower than whatever you can see from the trail.
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?
Incidentally, I hope to post slightly nicer versions of these shots when I get a chance. I have a shot of the burned meadow that brings the contrast down a bit in the meadow, but you lose the richness in the cliff behind the trees. (I fixed some of the darks in the shot from the Snow Creek trail; they're a little deeper now, the way they should be.) But I posted these here now in the interest of getting them up here. Who knows when I'll have a chance to fiddle further? So enjoy them while you can . . . !