Monday, August 9:  We departed Elk before breakfast, knowing we had a long way to go today.  It took a couple hours to get far enough inland to meet Highway 101, which took us south to San Pablo Bay.  We skirted around the east side, missing San Francisco traffic, passing through California's central valley, the land of rolling hills and incongruous windmills.  Tracy, Modesto, Merced, Mariposa... and finally, Yosemite.  

We stayed at Yosemite View Lodge, in El Portal, 2 miles from the park entrance at Highway 140.  Our room had a balcony overlooking the Merced River... here is the view from that balcony.

We were at about 2000 foot elevation here.  This ended up being our warmest spot, since all the other places we stayed in California were right on the ocean.

So there was something for everybody... sun for Jacquetta, pool and TV for the twins, views and roaring rapids for Dan!


Tuesday, August 10:  We ventured into Yosemite Park.  Here's the van, with Bridal Veil Falls in the background.

We were introduced to El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls as well.

 


When we reached Yosemite Village, we stopped.  Judging from the parking problems, so did everybody else.  I have the impression that Yosemite Village is the biggest tourist attraction in the Valley.

This pine-bark teepee was on display at the Yosemite Museum.  There was a complete Ahwaneechee village in the back, with explanatory plaques.

We came.  We saw.  We shopped, ate, and used ATMs.


Wednesday, August 11:  We took a 2-hour tour of the Valley.  It was well worth the time... 

Here's a view of El Capitan over the Merced River.  It doesn't do it justice.

This face is around 3,600 feet high... the biggest sheer face in the world.  I had some close-ups to try to give you a feeling of the size by showing some climbers, but even with the close-ups the climbers weren't really visible.

The first climb of El Capitan's face took 42 days.  Now that the routes are established, it has been done in 4 hours.

 


Yosemite Valley, as seen from Inspiration Point.


Here is the usual view of Half Dome, taken from the Valley floor.

The face is 3,260 feet high...not quite as big as El Capitan, but still one of the biggest in the world.

Here are a couple views of Half Dome which are less conventional.  Below, Half Dome from near Glacier Point... the face is on the left, and you can see "The Visor", a rocky point sticking out 60 feet over the face.

On the right, a view from the top, looking past the Visor to Glacier Point (left), El Capitan (right), and Yosemite Valley (below).  That's Dan on the Visor.


This marmot lives on top of Half Dome, and based on his size and tameness, is well looked after by climbers.

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This buck posed for me in Little Yosemite Valley, about halfway up Half Dome.


Here's Nevada Falls.  Its waters fall a spectacular 320 feet... but no match for Yosemite Falls, 2,400 feet.

It is late in the season... spring is really the best time for photos of waterfalls.  When we were there, Yosemite Falls was on the verge of drying up.

Dan got back from Half Dome after dark, and hitchhiked the 20 miles back to the Yosemite View Lodge.
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Friday, August 13:  We left the Lodge, heading west to San Francisco.