Friday, October 19, 2018

Day 35 - Yosemite Natl Park

Today we went back into Yosemite National Park to visit a couple other locations. Last year, we went to Bridal Veil Falls and there was so much water pouring down, that you got drenched just walking up the trail. Not so this time. This is taken from the end of the trail, But at least there is still water coming down. According to the posters at the base, this waterfall is being threatened by its popularity. It's the first waterfall that people see upon entering the valley.

We then headed up the road to Glacier Point. From the valley road, you head south towards Wawona but after climbing out of the valley, you turn east and drive along the southern side of the valley. This pano was taken from Glacier Point and you get a spectacular view of Half Dome. Something that we missed completely last year.

Back in the late 1970s, I came here on a x-country ski trip with the JPL Hiking, Backpacking and Wilderness Gourmet Society aka hiking club. We stayed in condominiums near a down hill ski area. None of that exists anymore. I could tell where the downhill area was but just about all traces of it are gone along with all of the condominiums.

This is Nevada Falls as seen from the view point. I've never been all the way to Glacier Point before so these views are new to me. Several of us considered skiing here but the road was extremely icy. Those warm conditions and steep cliffs don't go well together.

Vernal Falls are down river from Nevada Falls and is a common hike. It's about ¾ of a mile from the end of the road to the bridge near the base of the falls. Continuing on the trail gets you to the top of the falls and goes on to the base of Nevada Falls. You can continue on to the top and onward. I remember visiting here a long time ago and we just went to the bridge and stopped. My brother, Steve, continued on to Nevada Falls while we had to wait at the bridge. I remember being annoyed...

On the way back from Glacier Point, we stopped at Washburn Point for lunch. From here, we got a slightly different view of Half Dome. I guess there is a trail to the top of Half Dome though a permit is needed. The end of the trail is like the trail in Zion where you pull yourself up along a cable or chain. One of these years but probably not.

We went back into Yosemite Valley as we had forgotten our national park passport book yesterday and I wanted to get it stamped. Plus, we were running low on fresh vegetables. We filled up with diesel on the way back to the campground and we now have a new high mark. $4.929/gallon. The station next to the campground is slightly cheaper but it's 20% biodiesel. This lowers the fuel mileage significantly. Vegetable based oil has fewer BTUs per gallon. So I'll pay more for non-biodiesel.

Last night, I tried to get some star photos as the campground is pretty dark and there is a lot of stars visible from the campsite. Especially after midnight. What turned out to be the most challenging part is manual focusing the lens to infinity. The auto-focus was unable to do anything. Looking through the viewfinder, it was hard to see anything. I ended up trial and error. This was ISO 800, 30 sec, 18mm  F3.5.

This is the Pleiades, an open star cluster easily visible. It seemed like a good first attempt. ISO 400, 15 sec, 55mm, F1.8. Maybe I'll try some aurora photos but the kit lens is only f3.5. The 55mm prime is f1.8. A bit faster bot wider angle would eliminate the star trails.


SonjaM said...

I am surprised how well the shot of the Pleiades turned out. You must have had exceptional clear skies that night.

Diesel prices have reached European levels, my friend. Better get used to it.

We have been to Yosemite NP ten years ago, alas haven't seen much due to forest fires. Looks like you had more luck. Spectacular views.

RichardM said...

For now, it seems to be a California thing. It was less than half the price in Alberta and Washington. Jumped in OR and jumped again in CA.

redlegsrides said...

Dang, $5/gallon....I hope I remember to fill up outside the park if/when I ever visit were the crowds?

Nice pics by the way.

RichardM said...

Not bad at all in the mornings but it gets more crowded towards the afternoon but nothing like it was last year.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Thanks for the trip back to Yosemite. We haven't been there since '84 and it's every bit as fantastic as it was, maybe even better!

RichardM said...

Except for all the people, it’s pretty nice!

Lynne Goebeler said...

Thank you for the photos...can't wait to see Yosemite! The star photos really came out well too! Although it seems a camera can never really capture the magnificence of stars as you see them.Yikes on the diesel prices!!!

RichardM said...

Star field photos need a better sensor or a larger lens to capture more light.