To Hetch Hetchy and beyond.

During the long weekend of Memorial Day, we decided to spend some time in the mountains that border California state. Yosemite is not beautiful; it is just huge and majestic! On Sunday morning, as we approached the main entrance to the valley, we missed taking left on Evergreen road and realised that was a mistake; There was a long queue of cars stretching perhaps a few kilometers, all waiting to enter the Yosemite valley. We managed to take a U turn and head towards Evergreen road that lead to Hetch-Hetchy dam.
On the way to Hetch-Hetchy Stanislaus National Forest

Just before the entrance to the valley there was a camp ground bustling with people, who had come there for a musical festival. There were tents spread all over the place as in a city slum. Hetch-Hetchy valley, now converted into a water dam named O'Shaughnessy, sounded familiar. Crossing a tunnel at the end of dam we started towards Wapama falls, whose roar could be heard in the distance. Two mile walk to the falls was like in a big natural garden, there were small streams here and there, tracks paved with rocks, flowers and more than all, lots and lots of small butterflies. Reminded me of butterfly island in Mysore.
Just before the Wapama falls we crossed Tueeulala falls, which seems to be seasonal. View of the water filled valley including the huge Kolana rock was magnificent.
Way to Wapama Kolana Rock

The Wapama falls was roaring with full volume. There were wooden bridges that crossed the fall. Water falling over them in a haze. I ran across the bridge and got instantly drenched in a dash of icy cold water. It was fun, my hands were all numb with chilled water.
Wapama cold showers
Sunday night was spent at Yosemite bug lodge, situated on the banks of Merced river about 25 miles down the main valley. It was a nice place which offered us tents next to the river. Two mugs of hot coffee was refreshing.
Bug Tent Tent

Monday morning we took another route to Yosemite, to enter it from the south side. We took a short cut through the country road called Triangle road. It was the most enchanting drive on the whole strip. Morning sun was still tender. It was away from maddening traffic of the tourist destinations, quite and most scenic. Flowers were abundant everywhere. Wished we had rented a convertible to drive here.
Fence on the Triangle Road Triangle Road

Next we arrived at Mariposa groves of Gaint trees. There were perhaps more people than trees. Yet, a two hour walk in the grove was a refreshing way to start the day. I spotted an unusually red object on the ground, which looked like blob of silk ribbon. That was a sprout of some kind.
Big Old Trees Small Young Sprout

From Mariposa we headed to Glacier point. Road was as scenic as it can be. There was still snow all along the road. When we stopped by to take pictures, we met a Sun PTS Engineer, I recognized him by his CEC 2005 conference hat! Glacier point offered a visual feast of vast mountainous land, my eyes had never enjoyed before.
Roadside Mountains Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point
Arches from Glacier Point Hemisphere
Snow in Summer
Comments:

Hey Chandan, Great pixs... Regards, Vicki

Posted by Vicki Tan on June 06, 2005 at 06:31 AM PDT #

Thanks for sharing the pics- nice stuff. That red sprout you saw is called "snow plant": http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/snowplant.html

Posted by rama on June 06, 2005 at 06:43 AM PDT #

I love that Hetch Hetchy trail out to the falls, one of my favorite walks of all time. Once we were there in spring just as the snow was beginning to melt; we crossed the bridges and continued on for half an hour or so. When we returned the falls had swollen so that the water was covering the bridges several inches deep. Worse than the bridges were the path segments in between; they were covered in water -- and a very strong current -- and there were no handrails. We decided to go ahead and try to get through, and we did, but I wouldn't do it again in the same conditions. On the way back to the dam we passed a ranger carrying the "TRAIL CLOSED" sign out... Rich

Posted by Rich McAllister on June 06, 2005 at 09:47 AM PDT #

Fantastic snaps Chandan.Simply inspirational.Of course, they beat the Kukkarahallikere set by miles.

Posted by Bharath on June 06, 2005 at 09:47 PM PDT #

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