Blogs from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, United States, North America

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We have packed so much into the last week, that it almost feels as if time has come to a stand still. Or at the very least, has lost its ability to fly. This time last weekend, we had just arrived in Truckee, a small commuter suburb to the glamorous Lake Tahoe, a summer and winter playground for the rich and famous. And we were preparing to celebrate Oliver's 10th birthday in the company of a family that Greg, Em and the kids had met in Vietnam over 7 months ago. And a wonderful weekend it was with very generous hosts Ryan and Cammie, and their children Sage and Indi. Companions of their own age were just the ticket for Amy and Oliver and made for a splendid birthday celebration. Ryan and Cammie showed us all ... read more
aspen grove on drive up to Yosemite
aspen grove
Aspens at Silver Lake


It was a relatively short hop from Monterey but we arrived into San Francisco into a busy Memorial Day bank holiday weekend. We chose well for our accommodation just behind Fisherman’s wharf a busy bustling waterfront with ferries across the bay, many eateries - including popular seafood restaurants, museums and street entertainers to make things lively. To get a flavour of what the city has to offer we jumped on a city sightseeing bus just outside our motel. The bus had live commentary delivered at a 100mph, he hardly drew breath even when we got stuck in traffic. We went past downtown SF, the Italian quarter, Chinatown and other famous parts of the city. One story we were told was the creator of the Golden Gate park who managed to actually create it on sand dunes. ... read more
Golden Gate Bridge
Vernal Falls-Yosemite
Sea Lions


10thSeptember saw us do a monster drive between Crater Lake and Lake Tahoe. We managed to book a nice hotel en route in a Maccy D’s car park scabbing their free wifi (turned into a standard thing for us now). We arrived at Lake Tahoe in time for a nice sunset and some Domino’s pizza along with the biggest can of Bud you have ever seen. Whilst in the hotel, a minor miracle happened and I found us a campsite in Yosemite Valley for the weekend. Must have been a cancellation as the sites usually book up in April! So we left Lake Tahoe, after visiting the lake properly, in search of the place we have been wanting to go back to since visiting 5 years ago. After a quick stop at Mono Lake just before ... read more
Mono Lake
Dog Lake
Hike up to Glacier Point


Last week I was able to spend several days with other students in the Eastern Sierras learning about the local ecology, going on a few hikes and adventures and working on sage grouse related habitat projects. What a beautiful place to be! We camped just outside of Bridgeport, CA which is close to Yosemite, Mammoth Lake, June Lake, Mono Lake, Twin Lakes and so much beauty my brain is filled nearly to capacity with sights of lush green meadows (Tuoloumne), beautiful wooded areas (everywhere) and a green sagebrush steppe as this is on the Western side of the Great Basin (and also thanks to the recent rains). The program was put on by the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership and I feel lucky to have been able to join them. We pulled invasive weeds, learned about stream ... read more
Sagebrush Steppe
Mono Lake
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Geo: 37.7467, -119.584Yosemite National Park may be the most beautiful park in the US. We drove about 20 miles from Lee Vining into the park. We stayed at the Tuolumne Meadows Campground (elevation 8000 feet).We spent most of the day hiking various trails, including the Lembert Dome that was over 9000 feet high. Yosemite has a great shuttle service that runs a loop all day, but it does not go as far as Yosemite Valley. That is 16 miles as the crow flys, but 56 miles to drive......lots of winding roads.... read more
Sasquatch
One of many streams
Marmot


Another month, another adventure! This time, a little more local- I stayed within the same state! But California is a large state, so it was still a solid 8-hour drive from Carlsbad up to Yosemite National Park. On Friday afternoon, my friend Grant and I loaded up his car with food and gear and set out on a road trip. We made the long haul through all the LA traffic and cruised north until we hit mountains and endless stars. We arrived very late (I guess technically very early the next day), so we parked on the side of the road and created a make shift sleeping space in the trunk. We were up with the sun the next morning, despite only a few hours rest. We cruised into Yosemite National Park and wound our way ... read more
Tenaya Lake
Fear of heights
A climb with a view


Yep, for me it was a slog, a hard slog. Had to quit just feet from the summit. Someone says 'no limits'. Well, I think it's wise to know your limits - which usually I'm not very good at (I sense that if I don't get better, it's liable to be the death of me). So with two kids with me on the hike, that I knew weren't going to make it, I decided to turn back just short of the top. If I had started out an hour or two earlier, I wouldn't have run out of time. Next year.... to the top! ... read more
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At some point in the aftermath of katabatic winds; green trees lie, snow and glaciers dissolve among jumbled talus, unknown bees land on unknow petals, a moon rises over a knife-ridge of the Kuna Crest, as seagulls call accross an alpine lake. url=https://picasaweb.google.com/107481128541387150669/AtSomePointInTheAftermathOfKatabaticWinds?authuser=0&feat=directlink/ Link to these Pics on Picassa ... read more
56 pano
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Yosemite Valley Nearly all books (and many websites) on Yosemite contain an apocryphal story, which has been around since at least the mid 1960s. A visitor walks into the valley information center and asks the ranger what they should do with only one day to visit Yosemite. The ranger responds “Weep”. The first part of my second day in the park covers Yosemite Valley. As noted yesterday, the valley has a huge traffic problem. Since my campground sits at the eastern end, I have no choice but to add to it. In a convertible, the views partly make up for the traffic. They are not as good as people may think, because the road passes through big areas of pine forests with views of nothing but trees. The rest, though, is spectacular. One major thing makes ... read more
Ahwahnee Hotel lounge
Yosemite Valley model
El Capitan


Sky Islands. I have nothing to say about them.... read more
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