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Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?

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avatar What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 11, 2011 08:06PM
I am only a occasional pilgrim to Yosemite National Park. I know families who go every year, as well as a young woman who spent a summer working in a High Sierra camp. Those folks know Yosemite much better than I do. And yet, I have lived long enough to create some lasting memories of this vast High Sierra wilderness, with its hidden valley nestled beneath the towering icons of Half Dome, El Capitan, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. In fact, I’ve collected a memory for each decade of the last half century.

http://digitalestories.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/14297/whats-your-favorite-yosemite-memory/
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 11, 2011 08:22PM
One of mine:



I'm in my tent. wink The Old Dude... didn't need one.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 11, 2011 09:29PM
My best memory of Yosemite was the summer of 1968, when I would get off work and point my 1958 VW toward the Valley. I believe gasoline was 36 cents a gallon at both the Lodge and Village gas stations, and I can't recall if the Curry Village gas station was even open at the time. The Valley campgrounds were still camp-where-you-could-find-room, and there was a tent store in Camp 14 (across from the stables; I don't recall what you call the campground now, or even if it is open). I also recall the summer of 1967, when the Firefall was still active. Good times!
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 04:33AM
Dearborn,
Do you have an nice photos you can share of the firefall?
Also, have you ever heard anything of the "May Lake Mystery Trail"?
One more: Have any old literature of the park that could be shared?
Thanks

For all others: 500 bazillion posts on stupid things you've seen.
How about the glass half full and share some nice memory?

Have a nice day



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 05:15AM
Quote
chick-on
Dearborn,
Do you have an nice photos you can share of the firefall?
Also, have you ever heard anything of the "May Lake Mystery Trail"?
One more: Have any old literature of the park that could be shared?
Thanks

Or how about hearing anything about a crystal cave near Mt. Hoffman?


Quote
chick-on
For all others: 500 bazillion posts on stupid things you've seen.
How about the glass half full and share some nice memory?

Have a nice day


I have so many nice memories in regards to Yosemite it's pretty hard to choose just one.

But one of the more memorable ones was when my family was giving a grand tour of the Southwest National Parks to some of our relatives from out of the country back in 1990.

The A-Rock fire had closed the public access to Yosemite Valley for about a week or so, so we had to rearrange the timeframe of our visit to Yosemite. Fortunately, the Park Service announced that Yosemite Valley would open up again near the end of our grand tour (we had already visited Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon (both north and south rims). So we ended up driving from Las Vegas through Death Valley and then Hwy 395 over Tioga Pass and Tioga Road then out of the park via Hwy 120 over to Hwy 49 then finally down to Mariposa where made reservations to stay overnight. The next day Yosemite Valley would reopen to the public.

Anyway, what was very memorable was the drive from Las Vegas to Mariposa via Death Valley and Tioga Pass. When we passed through Death Valley around 10:00 AM it was around 114ºF at the Furnace Creek Vistors Center. Yet when we entered Yosemite at Tioga Pass around 3:30 PM, it was snowing quite heavily! Our relatives were quite impressed!

What also made that day memorable was that my brother was driving our station wagon and he ended up making a wrong turn near Crane Flat. We ended up driving on Old Big Oak Flat Road through the Tuolumne Grove of Giants Sequoias and didn't meet up with the Big Oak Flat Road (Hwy 120) until after we had passed the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. (Yes, the gates on both ends of Old Big Oak Flat Road had been left open.)
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 07:28AM
Discovering it 41 years ago. Nothing can beat my first view from Glacier Point or first climb to Nevada Fall. Your mind just screams, "you know you are coming back to this place". Backpacker
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 16, 2011 06:15AM
Quote
Dearborn
I also recall the summer of 1967, when the Firefall was still active. Good times!

As un-ecological as it was, I have to admit that the Firefall was very memorable for a pre-teen in the early 60's and I miss it a bit as an adult.

In the 80's I made a trip to Yosemite during a late season snow storm and got some photos as the storm was clearing (during that crystal clear high contrast light). At that time, of course, photos were usually processed commercially. I was flattered that the photo store wanted to post one as "Photo of the Week".



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 07:29AM
Probably the view looking down into Tenaya Canyon from the summit ridge of Clouds Rest; it's a long way and looks like so much steeper a drop than it seems when you see it from somewhere like Olmsted Point.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 10:10AM
My favorite Yosemite memory was the first time I went in 1987 with my future husband and 10 friends. I will never forget that first hint of the view of the Valley that you get on the Turtleback turnoff before you get to the tunnel and then the awe of that view as you go out of the tunnel. Even now, after 80+ trips, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Our friends stayed in Upper Pines and, because we did not have camping equipment, we stayed in a Curry Cabin. We spent most of our time at the campsites and after that, our wedding gift list had camping equipment added to it. We had many memorable camping trips with that group until children came and new jobs required moves but I will never forget that first look and sitting around a campfire with friends in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 11:17AM
sunset & sunrise from Clouds Rest!


avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 11:40AM
I have only been there twice. My wife making it to the top of Half Dome and taking my daughter to Vernal Falls in a school backpack are my favorites. Everything else about both trips is a VERY close second. grinning smiley
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 12:08PM
Finding my son safe at Sunrise HSC firepit after getting seperated at Cathedral Lakes at dusk...
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 12:30PM
My wife and I came to Yosemite for the first time this past June, so it’s all still very fresh (and a bit overwhelming). But like many of you, it’s that first glimpse of the Valley that just takes your breath away.

I did lots of research (including reading this forum a lot) before we went, so I’d seen photos of most of the major views/landmarks, etc. But as you all know, photos truly do not do the park justice. And the one thing that really hit me for the whole trip, was that – obviously – photos all just show waterfalls at a single point in time. Seeing them flow brought the park alive. We were there in mid-June when everything was just roaring, and standing at Glacier Point or on Sentinel Dome was simply breathtaking if just for the sound of all that water. The most memorable, though, was probably Oh-My-Gosh point for the total classic Yosemite experience (at least for a first-timer). That and the deluge up the Mist Trail was pretty awesome!

I could go on and on smiling smiley
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 02:08PM
1. My wedding day (Yosemite Chapel) and the bike ride back to the campground for our reception

2. Getting a job in the valley...living there in a wet year after my first two years experiencing Yosemite in drought conditions

3. My first visit...Tuolumne Meadows, then glancing at the valley from 120, then looking back from the tunnel on 41. Vowed to come back.


...visiting every year, camping with family, hiking with the nephews as they grew from infants to young men, the start of a John Muir Trail hike (twice,) a Half Dome memorial hike for the youngest nephew, our 25th anniversary hike then dinner up at Washburn Point, moonbows, sunset light on Horsetail Falls, high water years, chasing bears...

can't wait for more Yosemite adventures...photos...videos...memories...
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 02:55PM
Too many to count.

When the marmot climbed in my brother's lap - he was three, didn't know any better, sat right down in front of the marmot and it jumped right on. I laughed, mom shooed, too bad we didn't get a picture. (I was nine, didn't care about stuff like the rules...) Was a fat one and nearly big as he was.

The moment I took the last step and the panorama around Mt Dana took my breath away. Or maybe that was the gust of wind that nearly knocked me down. Maybe both.

Finding a merganser in a cascade in one of the creeks. Never seen one before.

Sunrise on the granite -- pick a high granite ridge, splash with the first light of day, add a cup of coffee and I'm good.

Sitting around the fire with friends, pretty much anywhere we've been below fireline. Many of those.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 03:55PM
I visited Yosemite several times with family when I was younger, but hadn't made a return trip until I had this crazy idea to go by myself on the day after Christmas 2005. I really don't have any distinct memories from when I was a kid, although my folks still have the photos stashed away somewhere.

So I guess I do have a few:

1) Abandoning my attempt up the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail in that first return visit just after Christmas 2005. It was unseasonably warm, and there was zero snow in the Valley. I made it well past Columbia Rock, but I wasn't really all that well equipped. I was actually wearing waterproof shell pants over jeans, a heavy Gore-Tex jacket over a cotton long-sleeve T-shirt, and hybrid Gore-Tex hiker/trail-running shoes. It was raining pretty well, and I was soaked by the sweat. I hadn't gotten the message that cotton is a lousy material for such conditions. I just high-tailed it out that day because I had reservations elsewhere that night. I do remember going to Hetch Hetchy briefly before leaving, and along the way to HH I recall rain, perfectly dry conditions, then snow - all in the span of 5 minutes.

2) Briefly visiting Yosemite Valley on the way home back in 2006. It was the first time I'd ever been down Tioga Road. Even though it was late June, it was a great snow year, and Yosemite Falls was absolutely full,

3) My solo Yosemite backpacking trip in 2007. It had everything, from a bear sighting, to Half Dome and Clouds Rest on consecutive days. The weather was perfect - barely a cloud in the sky and not too hot or cold. When I got back the the Valley I went to the Curry pizza deck and had a single with a 20 oz Sierra Nevada.

I've got other memories, but those are the ones that particularly stand out.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 06:05PM
Quote
y_p_w
3) My solo Yosemite backpacking trip in 2007. It had everything, from a bear sighting, to Half Dome and Clouds Rest on consecutive days. The weather was perfect - barely a cloud in the sky and not too hot or cold. When I got back the the Valley I went to the Curry pizza deck and had a single with a 20 oz Sierra Nevada.

I've got other memories, but those are the ones that particularly stand out.

Haha... that brought back another memory: taking a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo in my backpack while hiking down the Panorama Trail on a hot summer day. I stopped at Nevada Fall to eat something, grabbed the beer out of my bag, and realized it was hot as hell from hiking in the sun off the side of Glacier Point. I tried to cool it down for a while in a pretty still pool before the bridge, but ended up drinking it hot before heading back to the valley. Some beers are pretty good warm, but not something as hoppy as a Torpedo, lol.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2011 06:06PM by mbear.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 07:20PM
Quote
mbear
Quote
y_p_w
3) My solo Yosemite backpacking trip in 2007. It had everything, from a bear sighting, to Half Dome and Clouds Rest on consecutive days. The weather was perfect - barely a cloud in the sky and not too hot or cold. When I got back the the Valley I went to the Curry pizza deck and had a single with a 20 oz Sierra Nevada.

I've got other memories, but those are the ones that particularly stand out.

Haha... that brought back another memory: taking a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo in my backpack while hiking down the Panorama Trail on a hot summer day. I stopped at Nevada Fall to eat something, grabbed the beer out of my bag, and realized it was hot as hell from hiking in the sun off the side of Glacier Point. I tried to cool it down for a while in a pretty still pool before the bridge, but ended up drinking it hot before heading back to the valley. Some beers are pretty good warm, but not something as hoppy as a Torpedo, lol.

I was planning on filling my Nalgene flask with Highland Park 12 YO. For whatever reason, I forgot to bring it with me.

A good 12 year old Scotch would have been nice in the backcountry during those cool nights. Don't know if it would have attracted any bears though.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 13, 2011 07:22AM
Quote
y_p_w
A good 12 year old Scotch would have been nice in the backcountry during those cool nights. Don't know if it would have attracted any bears though.

Drinking's actually a pretty bad way to stay warm. Mythbusters did an investigation of this a few seasons back. Feels good in the short run but makes you colder in the long run. There's a funnier synopsis of this finding (along with some other debunkings of drinking myths here (scroll down to #4 for the "keeps you warm" section)).
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 04:12PM
There are so many but here's my favorite memory.

In 1979 (I was 9) my family moved from Virginia to CA. All of our friends and family were back east so my Father made it a point to explore our new home state. We covered most everything he could find....

In 1981, we did a backpacking trip to Halfdome. In hindsight, he was crazy to bring three boys, all under 12 years old, backpacking by himself. The sights and scenery were amazing and unforgettable. On our way back down, just before the bridge at Happy Isles, we went off trail and ditched our backpacks. He then brought us to Sierra Point through the old rockfall/landslide. As a kid it was scary and exciting hiking off trail. When we finally made it to Sierra Point, we were all amazed and spent a good 2 hours soaking in the scenery all by ourselves. I have a photo of me and my Dad, with Vernal and Nevada Falls in the background that is my favorite memory of my Dad.

I've been back three time in the last two years and have taken that exact same picture with each of my kids. I hope it's a legacy I can pass along!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 04:19PM
Quote

I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow is not looking good either.

This is one of the best.



Old Dude
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 04:44PM
Well, I'd have to say when I was 26...I was a late bloomer and only had my drivers licence 3 months, and decided I would drive my son and I to Yosemite. It was such a free feeling, considering I had to wait soooo long to drive. It was mine, and my son's, second time being up there, only my husband stayed behind, this trip. I wasn't comletely inexperienced with mountain roads...I had three months of driving up and down my local mountains numerous times. Once I had my licence, I wasn't about to ignore the glory of the outdoors.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 06:04PM
EDIT: oops... quoted the wrong post



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2011 06:05PM by mbear.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 08:54PM
So many memories! I'll never forget the first time to the Valley. Newlyweds, my husband and I had just moved to California in 1971 and decided at 2:00 AM on a Friday to go to Yosemite (from Napa). We arrived around 7:00 AM and El Cap looked like a HUGE wall of ice to me - it was sooo awesome! Being from Ohio, it was shocking! 40 years later, I'm still in awe every time I arrive at the park. A great memory is just 2 years ago (in August) when I camped in TM for the first time in my own tent and it hailed just as I got the tent up. It hailed for probably 10 minutes and then that glorious blue sky came out. Another great memory is seeing Twin Bridges and Lyell Canyon for the first time in 1996 - only second time at Tuolume Meadows. We had a family reunion in 1992 at Curry. We stayed in the cabins that are now closed down after being hit by the recent rock fall - that's so sad - but we had a great time! Soooo many great memories in 40 years!
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 12, 2011 09:21PM
First time to YNP. October 2001. Went with my best friend (now wife) and fell in love twice during my visit. KB is right--"America's best idea."
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 13, 2011 06:35AM
For me it was an August a few years ago. Yosemite Falls was quite dry but there was still many amazing hikes to take and things to see. We were staying in North Pines and met the nicest couple staying in an awesome site by the water. They invited us over and we watched a bear. And then another. And then another. And another. We went over to the stables and watched a mom and baby in the orchard eating apples. And then a younger cub limbed a tree right in front of me and started eating apples and I could see its tongue. We returned to our new friends' site a few more times and saw a few more bears. Amazing! We still can't believe how lucky we were!
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 13, 2011 07:38AM
I don't know if I could point to any one as my stand-out favorite but some of my favorites (in no particular order and covering a wide range of experiences) are:

Being in the upper Mariposa Grove late in the afternoon as the sun is starting to melt away. Not a single other human anywhere in sight (or earshot). That's when I knew that this is where I want my ashes scattered.

Standing by the railing at the top of Nevada Fall (late spring after a heavy winter so the water was raging), staring so intently in to the water that everything else just melted away. Like staring in to the face of God (and I'm not even a particular believer!).

Sunrise at Glacier Point...a handful of other people around but everyone being completely respectful of one another's solitude. The only thing you could hear were the birds.

The first time I came around the bend in the Upper Yose Falls trail where you get your first close-up of the upper falls...the ground literally vibrating beneath your feet with the power of the falls.

The first time I entered the Valley on the Southside Drive and that amazing view of El Cap fills your entire windshield. My jaw (quite literally) dropped open and I think I forgot to breathe for several seconds (unfortunately, like so many people, I also stopped dead in the middle of the road but at least there weren't too many other people around). This view can still move me to tears just thinking about it.

Pretty much every time I log miles on one of the old roads...especially if it's a section I've never done before and even more so if it's obviously a section that very few (if any) people have done in a very long time. This is especially gratifying when you've got a view in to the Valley of wall-to-wall cars and you haven't seen a single person on your entire hike.

The first time I met Tom Bopp at the Hotel Wawona...his warmth, wit and depth of knowledge on things both musical and Yosemite-historical ensure that I pay him at least one visit every time we're in the park.

Hell, it really boils down to the fact that just about every single day I spend in the Park adds to my list of favorite moments!
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 16, 2011 05:55AM
Planning on making some more great memories in a week or so, but last November's trip was amazing -- no crowds, beautiful foliage in the valley, snow on top of the rim, wonderful light after a morning rainstorm. Spontaneously hung out with some cool people too. Would have posted earlier, but I just figured out how to post pictures (had to delete the http in the dialog box since mine (Picassa)was https ... Worth a thousand words and all... And these were with an iPhone 3GS!





avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 16, 2011 11:33AM
So many great memories it's hard to choose one.

My first California backpacking trip (Clouds Rest and Sunrise).

Chucking snowballs at raccoons in January to keep them away from our Upper Pines slush-filled campsite (a good hit would send 'em rolling but they'd come right back)

Several early November birthday trips to experience the late falls colors and relatively crowd free valley.

Standing on top of Mt Dana, my first Sierra peak. The start of an obsession.

Standing on top of Mt Conness several years later and coming to a sudden realization about how the mountains had changed and strengthened me (for the much, much better)

Welcoming in many New Years with sunsets and sunrises from Dewey Point and best friends.

My first solo backpack trip (Ten Lakes)

The excitement and anticipation of starting the JMT.

It's my happy place.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 16, 2011 12:49PM
As an old landscape photographer, have been coming to this incredible temple of nature regularly for four decades. Have backpacked and rambled through many amazing places. During late winter 2006 I visited Yosemite Valley several times when cold snow storms were forecast in order to try and finally capture something exceptional with my 4x5 view camera. Of course millions of others have been taking pictures of Yosemite Valley scenery over many decades so it is quite difficult to capture something in these landscapes that is special no one else has. Oh one can capture many good images but thousands of others probably have images that look very similar. To have something unique and special one absolutely needs extraordinary light and weather. That effort finally came to pass on March 4, 2006 after an exceptional snowstorm. I recall waiting in front of that incredible scene for about a half hour for a cloud to move just so all the while knowing this was my chance for the big one I'd waited many years for. With the view camera I exposed a single sheet of film and the tricky exposure setting was dead on. The story and image:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/images/print_06-e3-1.html

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2011 12:51PM by DavidSenesac.
avatar Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 16, 2011 01:11PM
Quote
DavidSenesac

To have something unique and special one absolutely needs extraordinary light and weather. That effort finally came to pass on March 4, 2006 after an exceptional snowstorm.

I was in Yosemite during that week and witnessed that storm. It was an incredible time and opportunity to take magnificent photographs like yours.
Re: What’s Your Favorite Yosemite Memory?
August 17, 2011 08:27AM
My favorite memory of Yosemite was my first trip there. My friends and I had just graduated from high school (1966) and after a cross country road trip we came through Yosemite on our way home. We met up with some other high school friends and camped in Lower River c.g. It was a great trip, hiking , rafting, the firefalls, and just some great camaraderie amongst some great kids (This was a group of kids who didn't get sucked into the hippy/drug culture of the day).
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