11,299 Part 2: Yosemite

Yosemite for me, like a lot of photographers and people in general has always had such a hold on me.  I’ve read about it, poured over photographs from Ansel Adams and wondered what it would be like to visit and hike there.  I came into Yosemite from the Western side at around 200 am on the most winding road I have ever been on in my life.  At that time of the night on a road like that my progress was slow, usually at no more than 30 mph.  Entering the park itself despite the fact it was covered in a blanket of almost total black (no moon) was a rush.  I drove along it’s narrow roads looking for an inn and could almost feel the spirit of the valley.  I found no inn so instead I located the first trail I wanted to hike.  Somehow I found the trail head in the dark by 300 am, parked my car on the side of the road, reclined my seat, set my alarm and put my earphones on for some go-to-sleep music.   I awoke just before the sun came up and started hiking in the dark.   The trail I picked wasn’t long but it was the steepest climb and it would give be a view of the entire valley and Half-dome as the sun came up.  I am good shape, but the altitude and climb took some getting used to.  On my way up I was total memorized by the creeping shadows and the massive shafts of light that hit the valley in the most striking matter.  It was art, mother natures art, no matter where I looked I saw design, beauty, vastness, abstract, all in the same views.  The wait had been worth it, as had been the drive in the night through the desert to see the valley as the sun came up.  Of course at the top I got me a huge hotdog and a ‘Go climb A Rock’ metal cup that clipped on a belt.  I spend two days there before moving on to San Francisco which is going to be Part 3 of 11,299.





Brian Rickey Photographer