Winter (?) Solstice in Yosemite

It’s winter, it’s cold, but it certainly isn’t snowy like it should be. Still, it was quite a lovely time in the Most Beautiful Valley on Earth, and it provided a nice mental battery reboot: turn off computer, unplug computer, replug, wait 30 seconds, turn back on.

Ding!

Looking into the Valley from Tunnel View

Looking into the Valley from Tunnel View

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A leaf caught in the ice in Bridalveil Creek.

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Midday reflections at Mirror Lake. To think that exposed granite is what we cursed in summer, we would have loved the sun the day we were there: some areas, like Curry Village, don’t see the sun at all because the Valley walls are too high.

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Luck! A morning rainbow at Lower Yosemite Falls!

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Haunting bridge towards the base of Bridalveil Fall.

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Sunroom at the Wawona, decked out for the season. We had our brought from home lunch salads on the back right hand table when we weren’t day hiking.

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It was Tom Bopp’s birthday! The Wawona revelers (the E Flat Singers) celebrated with cupcakes, shared treats, birthday napkins, a few drinks here or there, and popped wine open en masse after the corkage fee hours ended.

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I took this for SCIENCE! For 6th grade science! Crystallization of water vapor from the air after sublimation of water from the snow. This is a close up of the water crystals forming on the snow. How cool! Phase change and properties of matter! It earned the post the science tag!

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My fiancé on one of our morning hikes. It got sunny but we still found the trail equivalent of black ice.

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Meadows still look autumnal when hit with direct sun, melting all the Thanksgiving snow away.

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Fore! The Wawona golf course looks especially rough. It was freezing and shady, despite the lower elevation.

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I like the hair on the fat one the best, personally, but the horns on the skinny snowman are also charming.

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Last year this had a blanket of snow! Sigh…

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My fiancé makes a good Ranger of the North, and fixes up a trail cairn. THe hat is just style. The Jacket is apparently style too. He bought it off the discount rack years ago, and the only people we’ve seen it on are park employees. This season, they brought back the design, and it’s on the shelves again in the Yosemite Village Store. He feels like a Mountain Hipster, but thoroughly recommends it. It’s inexpensive and is reversible with a fleece inner, and waterproof. He skis in his.

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Not to be outdone, I also make a trail cairn. His is at right. I was particularly happy with mine. There weren’t many to compare to, so it looked really nice. But it’ll be down at the next snow. Till then, it’ll do it’s job. (This is how you mark trails when they are hard to follow, with little rock piles or cairns. Though, I have seen an abandoned neon orange croc shoe do the same before, too, in a particularly bad zone. They don’t have to be towers, but the more obvious cairns help the inexperienced. Tower building cairns is also for the fun of it!)

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Out behind Mirror Lake. Frozen.

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Wildlife. Did not see any bears for Iris, just deer.

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This is how tourists take pictures of the deer though, which is really annoying. If animals know you’re there, and are running away from you, you’re doing the wrong thing.

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My fiancé at Clark’s Bridge over the Merced River. A little frozen!

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Yosemite Falls, with a little bit of shine from Lehamite Falls (deep groove, center) and Royal Arch Cascade (rounded slope, right) from Swinging Bridge in Leidig Meadow.

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Lamps in the Wawona. I wanted to show them on their own, ghostly.

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Also back behind Mirror Lake.

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Wawona Meadow Trail: Ice and Snow, Frost and Foliage.

We also had a grand time making gingerbread houses, and got a gingerbread lesson from the Chef at the Wawona. I’d say yum, but we were so focused, I didn’t partake that much of the candy or other goodies. The hot chocolate and cookies in the afternoons however was another matter entirely!

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~ by glasslajora on January 7, 2014.

One Response to “Winter (?) Solstice in Yosemite”

  1. I love the pictures they allow me to get a small inkling as to the beauty of the place, so thank you 🙂
    Best wishes
    Charlotte

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