They arrived on the 21st and on the 22nd we set off in the car heading for Yosemite for four nights in a cabin in the mountains.
This was our view to the west and the entrance to the valley. I believe these formations are called Cathedral Rock. You can see that we are quite high above the valley floor.
This is a picture of Sharon sitting near the ledge. I was quite a distance away from her.
The next picture is taken at the same place with Sharon still there but zoomed to a much wider view. This cliff was about 2000 feet straight down. I get a woozy stomach just looking at these pictures.
Taking them was even harder because I was on a different point a little higher, but at least with a rail next to me.
I watched as she leaned over the side of a cliff- and shot pictures straight down- But never fear- this is our rock climber! You can rest assured that I stayed far away from the edge!
From Taft Point we hiked back to the car and onto a second location call Sentinel Dome. It's a large dome shaped granite rock that is farther east into the park with views of the east end of the valley.
But we did make to it the top of Sentinel Dome which in itself was a bit of a climb. This wasn't a trail either, but just this big rounded, steep rock that we worked our way up. I can't believe I made it to the top. When we started and Don said we were going to climb to the top of this DOME, I really thought he was teasing- I mean you could see there wasn't a trail. But yes we did climb- and no there was not a trail!
Max loved the old tree that at one time has been growing out of the rock. No telling where it got it's water, but it was quite a reasonable sized tree before it died several years ago. Now it is on its side providing a perfect place to rest with a magnificent view. The tree was exquisite- and sitting also had it's reward. And from this perch on top of the Dome you could see on all sides the beauty of Yosemite.
But we also got our first view of Half Dome. This is a mammoth piece of granite that towers over the east end of the valley. You can hike to the top, but it is a 16 mile round trip. The last 400 feet to the top isn't exactly a trail, but rather a line of steel poles put into the rock and connected by steel cables that you are supposed to use to pull yourself up the extremely steep rock. Needless to say, we passed on that little walk
All the pictures with someone- i.e. someone of us- in the pictures are mine. I didn't take many- Don and Matthew and Sharon were certainly on top of their game- besides I was trying to catch up- so instead of just "waiting" for me- they took more pictures. Guess it worked out for all of us.
Next we drove back down and into the valley from the west end. The road goes about a half mile through a tunnel before emerging with a full view of the Yosemite Valley in front of you. It is quite a view.
The picture below has El Capitan on the left and Half Dome on the right in the distance.
From this point there is also a view of Bridal Vail Falls, that is if there had been any respectable amount of water coming over the top. As you can see in the picture below, there was a little water coming over the cliff, but you had to get pretty close to realize it was water falling. This fall doesn't look very spectacular, but keep in mind that the drop is 620 feet.
Sharon and I felt energetic so we climbed up the granite rubble (boulders) to the base of the falls where there was a pool with the final cascade of water. For perspective of the size of this pool, look in the lower right hand corner where there are some tiny people climbing on the rocks. I tried to get a picture of them on the climb- but most of the time they were behind massive rocks- and when they would "pop out" for a moment and wave both arms- they were tiny specks up the rock and would disappear again before I could get a shot. And I couldn't capture both them- tiny specks they were- and the massive rocks they were climbing.
On our way out of the park on our first day, we were lucky to have perfect weather and a great sunset that cast a beautiful pink glow on Half Dome. We were in the right place at the right time and got this great photo of the face of the dome reflecting the sunset. This isn't a Photoshop moment. It was the real thing.