April 10, 2012

Archives and Poppies

Tim and I had considered trying to extend our stay in Yosemite National Park, but the weather forecast put a damper on this idea.  A Pacific storm was on the way, and rain and snow in some areas was forecast for Wednesday.  We therefore reluctantly decided to stick with our original plan and left the park today. 

We took our time on the way out and stopped several times to savor one last look at the valley and its granite walls.  Bridalveil Fall, which flows all year, was our last stop, and it was fun to get close to the base and get sprayed with the blowing mist.

Granite Walls and the Merced River Define Yosemite Valley
El Capitan
Bridalveil Fall
Blowing Mist from Bridalveil Fall
The drive out of the park on Highway 140 was especially pretty, and it followed the Merced River as it rushed down to the town of El Portal.  Here we made a stop at the Yosemite archives and met with Brenna, the park archivist.  It just so happens that Tim had hired Brenna when he worked at Pecos National Historical Park.  Brenna explained the operation in Yosemite, and she gave us a tour of the archives.  We were able to take a peek at early ranger logs, correspondence from the park concessionaire and the original master plan for Yosemite Valley.  There are such fascinating things that are safeguarded in the archives at every park.

Tim and I also took the opportunity to discuss possible volunteer opportunities at Yosemite after Tim retires.  It would be wonderful to spend a chunk of time in the park and really get to know it. , while at the same time helping with projects that the park might otherwise not be able to accomplish.  Maybe I will even see if there is something I can help with in the next few years.

The scenic drive after we left El Portal was even more spectacular.  The redbuds were blooming along the Merced River, and the hillsides were carpeted with orange poppies.  What an amazing sight.  We were so lucky to be able to take this ride at the height of wildflower season.

Redbuds Are Blooming
Redbuds Along the Merced River
Hillsides of Poppies
Poppies Along the Merced River
More Orange Hillsides
What a Sight to See
I Couldn't Stop Taking Photos of the Poppies
When we turned north onto Highway 49, we were in gold rush country in the foothills of the Sierra.  The road twisted and turned as it climbed and descended hill after hill.  It was quite the rollercoaster ride.  The views were spectacular, however, and the small towns were charming.
The View from Highway 49
Mountain Views
Bush Lupines Line the Highway


  1. The whole place is spectacular! I have orange poppies in my yard and it's hard to stop looking at them too. I can imagine what an effect a whole hillsides of them could have on you. LV

    1. LV, Don't you just love poppies? I had hoped to see fields of poppies on this trip, but had no idea that this would be the place. What perfect timing we had. Sarah

  2. The poppies are very beautiiful. We also have some but nothing like that. Glad you got to enjoy them. Tim has really run into a lot of people he knows. That is great. Love A

    1. A, I remember admiring your poppies. They are such beautiful flowers. It's been so nice for both of us to run into Tim's friends and colleagues. You never know where you might find someone he knows. Sarah