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|
|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|
|The View from Highway 49|
|Bush Lupines Line the Highway|