s/y Nine of Cups
Yosemite National Park, California
May 2012
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Once again, thanks to John Muir for recognizing
the natural magnificence of this place and his
efforts in the past to insure it thrives today.
Yosemite National Park covers an area of 761,268 acres
and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra
Nevada Mountains.  Designated a World Heritage Site in
1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its
spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant
Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of
the park is designated wilderness. Although not the first
designated national park, Yosemite was central to the
development of the national park idea, largely owing to the
work of people like Galen Clark and, of course, John Muir.
First stop, Giant Sequoias
The Wawona Pioneer Village site near the park entrance is comprised of a collection of
historic buildings from different eras in Yosemite’s history. The Wawona Covered Bridge,
built in 1868 to span the Merced River, is one of the village's gems.
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine
Railroad is an historic narrow gauge
railway which runs along the historic route
of the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber
Company. Too early in the season for a
ride, but we were able to sneak a peek.
Birds were abundant in the groves of
trees. Above, the bright blue feathers of
this stellar jay really stand out.
During the crowded summer months, visitors are encouraged to use shuttle buses which visit all the iconic sights in the park. Early in the
season, we were on our own. The views from Glacier Point above were magnificent. We posed in front of the Half Dome formation.
Innumerable cascades graced the granite cliffsides. To the right, I nicked a black and white photo of two ladies in the 1890's kicking up their
heels after a Half Dome ascent....in skirts no less!
El Capitan (7,569') towers 3,593' above the valley
floor. A formidable peak, rock climbers from
around the world come here to challenge their
abilities on its granite face.
Pacific dogwood blooms in the park at the Visitor's Center and pine cones lie
dormant on the valley floor. The Cathedral Spires were indeed, in"spiring".
A coyote crosses a snowdrift
A mule deer pauses by a Giant Sequoia
Arch Rock is the southwest  exit to Yosemite at El
Portal, a long, serpentine scenic byway that follows
the course of the Merced River.
Our timing for visiting Yosemite was good and bad. Many trails were closed
due to snow. Some of the Visitor's  Centers and museums were not yet open
for season. That said, coming in the summer months when tourist season is at
its peak would have been absolutely terrible.

When we return (and we will), we'll plan either to arrive a couple of weeks
later in May or perhaps towards the end of September. All in all though ... this
park was wonderful.

From Yosemite, we'll do some fun trips to a butterfly fest,  through California  
Gold Country and then cross over Sierra Nevadas. Come along for the ride?
American Odyssey 2012

The next national park on the itinerary? Great Basin NP in Nevada
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More National Parks?

More American Odyssey trip?

Roadside Americana?

Birds of North America?

Wildflowers of North America?