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Fern on the Four Mile Trail, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?

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avatar Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 01:11PM
Yosemite has been a big part of my life since I was three. I scanned slides from when I worked there in the '60s and posted them to flickr. You can view a slideshow of my old Yosemite photos including the Firefall here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliff_stone/sets/72157594161614968/show/

Individual old Yosemite photos can be seen here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliff_stone/sets/72157594161614968/
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 01:20PM
Quote
Cliff
Yosemite has been a big part of my life since I was three. I scanned slides from when I worked there in the '60s and posted them to flickr. You can view a slideshow of my old Yosemite photos including the Firefall here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliff_stone/sets/72157594161614968/show/

Individual old Yosemite photos can be seen here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliff_stone/sets/72157594161614968/

Funny, I was just visiting with my father last night, and he was reminiscing about several things, and one of them was the "firefall" show in the evening. Being that this was his first visit to a US National Park, it had a huge impact on him. I was "along for the ride" but was not born yet, so the memory is a bit fuzzy wink

B
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 02:18PM
I really enjoyed seeing the old photos, and the accompanying stories!

Next time I'm going hiking in August, I may just bring a warm jacket.
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 02:28PM
Quote
Cliff
Yosemite has been a big part of my life since I was three.

That's about how old I was when my grandparents took me camping in Yosemite. It certainly made an impression on me that has never gone away.
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 02:32PM
Thanks for putting up all the old photos and the stories to go with them; it must have been great to be around Yosemite back then. (I remember the white uniforms for gas stations...had them when I worked at Chevron, complete with bowtie 8^).

But having the old photos is really a treasure, and getting them where others can see them is great; really enjoyed them.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 03:19PM
Here is a nice website dedicated to the (Curry) firefall:
http://firefall.info/
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 05:16PM
Yes, I remember it. First enjoyed it when I was there in the summer after my high school graduation (1966) and a few consecutive summers after that. It got pretty crowded in Camp Curry at Fire Fall time. I was amazed that you could hear the guy at the top of Glacier Point yelling down to Camp Curry to ask if they were ready for the Firefall. Anybody remember the exact dialogue between Glacier Point and Camp Curry? (It was the same every night). Anybody remember the reason they stopped the Firefall?
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 08:52PM
I'll take a stab at it...

"Hello, Glacier"
"Hello, Curry"
"Is the fire ready"
"The fire is ready"
"Let the fire fall"
"The fire is falling..."

(preceded of course by "Indian Love Call".

I think it was stopped because the traffic was so heavy, it was killing the meadows, besides the traffic jams. Also, being an unnatural display, it went against the new policies of the park service, but I don't know if that caused it to be stopped, or the meadow damage initially. I know they tried to re-perform it on a one-time basis for a special occasion, and it was denied. I also believe the only time it was late (9PM normal) was when Pres. Kennedy was eating dinner at the Ahwahnee and wasn't finished. People were said to be grumbling about that one, can't say I blame them 8^)

There is a movie about this that they will play from time to time at Yosemite Lodge's evening program, done by Huell Howser, which is pretty interesting (and funny) to see once anyway.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 09:25PM
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 26, 2009 07:49PM
Sierra Fan, I think you got it right. That's the way I remember it and I believe one of the main reasons they stopped it was becasue of the damage to the meadows from all the people coming out of the campgrounds to watch the specatacle. It was fun, but the trampoling of the meadows was definately a problem. And I think you are right about the dialogue.
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 09:59PM

Long-exposure photograph of the Firefall, taken from the Ahwahnee Meadow by Bob Fry
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 25, 2009 10:28PM
I've heard of it. DNC showed a video program on the Firefall for one of my visits. I think this was it:

http://www.yosemitegifts.com/yosfirwithue.html

What I most remembered about the video was that they shot footage with a ranger and one of the old Glacier Point Hotel employees who worked on the Firefall. In the background there was some kid who was playing around on the railing and looked like he was about to go over. The kid's mom ran in quickly, grabbed him, and scolded him for doing something so utterly dangerous.

Of course they stopped doing it long before I was born.
avatar Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 26, 2009 10:11PM
not sure if this has been mentioned, but the firefall (originally) was started simply to encourage and invite people to the park. it wasn't until the park started to get over crowded, that they decided to end it (not to mention a possible fire hazard too).
Re: Does anybody remember the Firefall?
April 29, 2009 01:05PM
Cliff, thanks for your great collection of old photos. I have come across some of them before, when browsing around for old photos of Yosemite. Just to add a small footnote to this thread: the movie "The Caine Mutiny" (1954) includes a few seconds of the actual firefall, when one of the characters takes a vacation to Yosemite with his fianceƩ. This is the only footage I have ever seen of the firefall in motion. Maybe discarded in some trash bin in Hollywood is the rest of the footage of it, but they only used a few seconds of it in the movie. A fuzzy, low-resoliution clip of that scene is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgf_39CfS1Y

Besides http://firefall.info, there are also some pictures and old postcards here:

http://www.firefall.com/journal.asp

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