Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yosemite in black and white

When someone who grew up in Michigan says there's been weird weather going on, rest assured she knows what she's talking about.

We've had sunny days in the upper 80s that drain my energy on the walk home from work and force us to turn on the air conditioner, followed by nights so chilly that turning on the heat in the morning is the only way I can psych myself into getting up in the cold.

Tioga Pass, on Highway 120 on the east side of the park, is the highest-elevation highway pass in California and the Sierra Nevada at more than 9,900 feet. It was opened earlier than normal this year because of the low snow pack, only to be closed twice since then, due to snow. It doesn't affect us at the lower elevations except for rain, which I never complain about because California can use the water but also because of the fantastical landscapes it can create.

When David, my HH's son, was here (doesn't it sound like he was here forever because of all the places we went?) we looped the road to Tunnel View several times to catch it in different light and hoped for some cloud drama. We hoped for it, and we got it.

El Capitan is on the left, banked with clouds. I love the low clouds caught in the trees in the valley as if snagged by their branches.

Over our shoulders the bare rocks and ascending trees were grayed with fog, both shrouded and silhouetted, making the snow on the ground that much brighter.

Back in the Valley was more of the same, the rock face slick and shiny, the tree shapes elusive, and everything just lovely.

I can only imagine visitors to Yosemite bemoaning the weather, but anyone can see the place under a sunny sky. It's pure luck and fortuity to see these fleeting viewscapes.


Thought of the day:

If the timing's right and the gods are with you, something special happens. - Rick Springfield