SEARCHING FOR SPRING, PART 10: Yosemite National Park
I love Yosemite National Park.
“The most striking and sublime features on the grandest scale, is the Yosemite.” John Muir
“A perfect day would be to get into the car, drive out to Yosemite and go camping.” Michael Steger
“It is all very beautiful and magical here (Yosemite), a quality which cannot be described.” Ansel Adams
Since it is such a great place, I was not surprised to learn that there were 5.2 million visitors to the park in 2016. I was surprised when I visited Yosemite near the end of May—but before Memorial Day—that all those people were there ahead of me on the main roads and taking up every single parking space. Well, okay not all of them. But at least about half!
Basically, it was crowded.
However, I was still able to find the dogwood blossoms that were the ostensible reason for my visit this spring. (But does one really need a reason to visit Yosemite National Park?) There were other flowers as well and lots of water! Despite the crowds, it was a glorious trip.
“In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir
As I entered Yosemite near the Wawona Inn, I was greeted by fields of lupine. This hardy purple bloom kept me company throughout most of the drive throughout the park.
Dogwood Trees lined the roads, allowing wonderful glimpses of the blossoms floating among the leaves.
A drive through the park is always full of gorgeous vistas and delightful surprises. On this trip, some spring blossoms and wonderful ferns popped up here and there along the roadsides. Of course, they were not so easy to photograph. But the vistas were as peaceful and engaging as usual.
The Merced River was wonderful, mercurial. It still offered some peaceful pools that compel visitors to sit on its banks and appreciate life and nature. But on this visit, the Merced also rushed past, even overflowing its banks periodically during the last several weeks given all the rain and snow melt this year. I loved hearing the Merced rush by!
“Down through the middle of the Valley flows the crystal Merced, River of Mercy, peacefully quiet, reflecting lilies and trees and the onlooking rocks; things frail and fleeting and types of endurance meeting here and blending in countless forms, as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures, to draw her lovers into close and confiding communion with her.” John Muir
The numerous waterfalls, of course, are also magnificently full this year. What a delightful spring treat!
Upper Yosemite Falls (1430 feet):
Bridalveil Falls (617 feet):
If you have not visited Yosemite National Park, do so.
You will not be disappointed.
Please, consider speaking out and doing what you can to make sure all our national parks stay protected not just for us all to enjoy but because of their cultural and historical significance. They are indeed precious.
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“The parks do not belong to one state or to one section. They have become democratized. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.” Stephen Tyng Mather, 1st National Parks Service Director
“Maybe you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but like every American, you carry a deed to 635 million acres of public lands. That’s right. Even if you don’t own a house or the latest computer on the market, you own Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and many other natural treasures.” John Garamendi
“I can’t help thinking that if the American West were discovered today, the most glorious bits would be sold off to the highest bidder. Yosemite might be nothing but weekend homes for internet tycoons.” Nicholas Kristof