Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Mother of All Parks

Yosemite National Park, California

We departed from Lee Vining at Mono Lake from a drive though the Sierras and Yosemite. Eventually we arrived at Yosemite Valley.

It was a summer day on a Sunday afternoon, so the park was clogged with campers, rock climbers, bicyclists and auto tourists like us.

Yosemite is considered to be the first of the National Parks and perhaps the first place on Earth set aside to be preserved for its natural beauty.

The valley has rivers, meadows and a profusion of high waterfalls. These are in full flow this time of year because of melting snow.

The native Indians are thought to have been responsible for the meadows. They burned off the brush and planted Black Oak and other agricultural species.

John Muir was very influential in promoting the establishment of the park. He was particularly outraged by sheep grazing in the area. He called sheep "hoofed locusts".

One wonders what John would have thought of all the roads, parking lots, buildings, lodges and tents we see today. I think that inevitably Yosemite will have to go to a pure shuttle bus system and banish the automobile.

We stop for lunch on a riverbank with a view of Bridal Veil falls. We feed this duck part of our sandwiches and watch the strange changes in the way the sheets of water descend.

We are planning to spend tonight here at Mono Lake and then head up to a campground at June Lake high in the Sierras. It 6,800 feet where we are so it's very cool during the day and cold at night. June lake temperatures will be near freezing at night. We don't expect phone service, but you never know.


  1. Absolutely beautiful pictures. Although I was born and grew up in Southern California, I haven't been to Yosemite---yet.

  2. looks like you are enjoying your new camera....great photos...sil

  3. I haven't been to Yosemite in about thirty years, but was a frequent visitor for the prior twenty. I have often wondered if a visit now would spoil the memories, but your pictures show the beauty I remember.

    A number of years ago I read that they close down different areas of the park to visitors to give it a chance to "heal" from all the trampling.

    I wandered around your blog for a while and found it very interesting. You need more readers! You should take part in Outdoor Wednesdays with all your beautiful shots, that will get you read! Visit Susan @ to learn more.

    You'll get to share your photos and travel with a great group of folks and get to see photos from all over the place. It's really great fun, I've found a great group of people who read my blog now and my blog is only a couple of months old.