Welcome to Wandering Camera! Around this time of the year I come out of my summer hibernation by camping in the chill air of the High Sierra Mountains between 8000ft and 10000ft. This year however, we had to change our plans at the last minute due to the wildfires.
I have been to Yosemite Valley in every season but summer. The days are too hot with temperatures ranging between 28C – 36C, while my melting point is around 16C.
I was, however, so desperate to see the mountains that we drove to Yosemite Valley with the mercury hovering around 48C.
We spent the first morning visiting a few favourites. There was a heat advisory that day, and it was clear that we needed to wake up extremely early to enjoy the summer outdoors.
We wanted to hike at least one trail. Hiking to Taft Point was short enough for us to be back by mid-morning, before the day got too hot. We got up at 5 AM, and after a little coffee, it was time to make the 45-min drive to the trail head.
A panoramic view of the Yosemite Valley was waiting for us at the end of the 1.1-mile hike. El Capitan (the massive rock on the right side of the photo) towers over us in the valley, and here we were looking down at it.
Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos and read the captions –
At 7700ft elevation, Taft Point sits about 3500ft above the valley floor without guardrails. If you suffer from acrophobia, you will really want to brace yourself.
We also found four fissures with very sharp and long drops. Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –
My husband very gently reminded me that it was time for me to get back with these kind words – “Going out with you is like going out with a Yeti. I need to get you back in your icebox before you melt away.”
A sketch of Taft Point from my own handmade watercolour nature journal.
In the afternoon, clouds started rolling in above the valley. That night, we heard loud thunder followed by rain. Beautiful, torrential rain, accompanied by the most delightful petrichor. Nature is always full of surprises here in the Sierras, and I LOVE her for it.
I was hoping beyond hope that I would get a wonderful sunrise the next morning. We again got up at 5AM, and drove into the valley. Initially the clouds were really low, so I didn’t get to see a peach/pink sunrise. Still, watching the sun come up over the Cathedral Rocks to slowly wake up the north side of the Valley was ever so beautiful. I believe I even spotted a little mist on the Valley floor.
It turned out to be a beautiful, cool day! The sun kept on playing hide and seek, lighting up the granite rock faces here and there. That afternoon we read by Cook’s Meadow over mugs of tea. With that, the day and our time there was over. We finished our stay watching the last light of the day decorate beautiful Half Dome.
With a deep feeling of sorrow and yearning, I said goodbye to my mountains.
Here are some more of my favourite photos from the park taken during this time of the year.
El Capitan In Autumn
El Capitan has to accompany Half Dome. Since autumn is upon us, I thought this photo of the beloved massive rock by the side of the Merced River would be perfect for the season.
Misty Merced In Autumn
Early morning mist floating over Merced River on an autumn morning, reaching out to both the colour-changing trees and the evergreens.
An Afternoon At Lake Tenaya
A beautiful jewel of Yosemite – Lake Tenaya at approx. 8000ft. Lake Tenaya is where I usually like to finish my High Sierra camping trip.
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