I found myself quite happy with the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite, where we were staying, but I couldn’t help but wonder when we might see the iconic granite slabs of rock and stunning vistas that I had always associated with this national treasure of a park.
It turns out, all we had to do was follow the rest of the fam from the Merced Grove of Sequoias back to the valley floor, to find those very views. The winding road carved into the rugged mountains led us to gorgeous lookouts, such as the long range view of Half Dome, below left. A thunderstorm was gathering and the smell of dust kissed by moisture was thick in the air. The foreground of the lookout was so picture perfect, I almost felt I was on a movie set with lovingly faux finished Styrofoam rocks!
As we continued to follow the switchbacked pavement downward to the river, there were magnificent mountains of black granite across the canyon from our car’s path, which are shown in the center photo below. Without anything to indicate scale, it almost looks like a closeup, instead of the massive stone formation it actually is! Such beautiful lines.
And, as we neared our final destination (dinner with Ian, Deborah and my parents), we were met with evening light, a waterfall, tumultuous clouds, green green grass…a perfect moment. The graceful outlines of these multicolored rock edifices on the valley floor were breathtaking (pix are above left and below right).
Now we’re talking, I thought…this is the Yosemite of my mind’s eye.