Friday, April 19, 2002

San Francisco to Sydney - Day 2

Day 2 : Yosemite National Park

This morning we let ourselves sleep a little longer to fully recuperate from the many hours of travel we endured yesterday. As forecasted, it did get very cold overnight : I can testify firsthand to this based on my 6:30am visit to the communal facilities, necessitated by the absence of a toilet in our cabin.

Cabin at Curry Village Our cabin (the one in the middle of the photo at left) is comfortable, if a little small. It has a small desk with drawers; two double beds; a bedside table, light and clock; a rack for hanging clothes with a shelf above; and an automatic gas heater. Given that we spend most of our waking hours outside, it's ideal.

We left the cabin today around mid-morning to weather that was overcast and chilly. A cold wind was blowing off the snow-capped and foggy mountains. As we walked around the valley, the Sun would occasionally shine through a gap in the clouds, immediately lifting the temperature and making conditions far more pleasant.

The valley looks so very different now, in early Spring, from how it looked when we were here in October a few years ago. The waterfalls are the most obvious difference : on our last visit, many had either dried up or were well on their way to this state; this time they're torrents.

Merced River The Merced River, which runs through the valley and is fed by melting snow, is near its normal peak (see photo at right) and is flowing rapidly in many places. It has, we were told today by our tour guide for the Valley Floor Tour, risen by about a metre in the past 2 weeks (Americans, by the way, have no idea what a fortnight is, and so never use the term). The river still has a long way to go to reach the high-water mark it attained during the 1997 flood. There are signs dotted around the valley that have lines painted on them to mark this peak flood level and, by my estimation, these lines are at least 5-6 metres higher than the current water level.

Valley View

The Valley Floor Tour to which I alluded in the previous paragraph, is a tour that we also took the last time we were here, although on that occasion we were transported on metal seats inside a trailer pulled by a tractor. Today though, we enjoyed the comfortable ride and satisfying warmth of a tour bus. The photo at left is an attempt to reproduce a shot I took from the same location during our previous Valley Floor Tour. El Capitan is on the left, Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Falls are on the right.

Tonight's forecast : Temperature 1 degree, possibility of a late shower. When's that fire going to start?

Originally posted by TC

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for posts older than 14 days will not be immediately displayed. We review these comments before publishing them for public display.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...