California or Bust, Fall 2014 travel blog

From Tunnel View: El Capitan on the left with Half Dome in...

Another beautiful view

An interesting perspective on Half Dome

Half Dome with Yosemite Valley below

Crazy dancers!

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(MP4 - 4.33 MB)

Panorama view

I have officially run out of adjectives. Wow. OMG. Incredible. Nothing comes even close. Today we made the short, mile-wise, drive out to Glacier View. On the way up, we stopped at Tunnel View, which we missed yesterday and which provides the best perspective that includes both El Capitan and Half Dome. It was a spectacular day -- calm, not a cloud in the sky, perfect temperature. There were busloads (literally) of people. I wonder what it's like in the summer when it's busy. But whatever it takes to get here to see this, it's so worth it. We noticed that there seemed to be as many non-English-speaking tourists as there were English speakers.

We stopped at an overlook which is near the end of the road and provides the kind of views that make it hard to tear yourself away. We took a lot of pictures, none of which do justice to what we could see and then continued to Glacier Point. It's hard to get a perspective on the expanse of these mountains. What is now Yosemite was formed five miles below ground level from an extremely hard granite. When it was pushed to the surface gradually over time, large areas were covered by glaciers, and valleys were scoured as the glaciers moved. As they receded and eventually melted, a lake formed in the valley which gradually filled with sediment and became Yosemite valley.

We brought a picnic lunch and ate it sitting on the granite blocks of the amphitheater overlooking nearly 180 degrees of the park. According to the sign, this view includes about one-quarter of the park. I can't think of any place in the world where one can sit and have lunch with this kind of view.

At the very left of the video is an overhanging rock that looks like it could tumble off with very little encouragement. The drop-off below must be thousands of feet. There is a photo taken around 1900 of two very crazy people dancing on this rock. The video then includes the panorama from North and Basket Domes (the smooth ones) to Mt. Watkins (the one that looks like it has a big dent in it). Tenaya Peak and Echo Peaks are in the far background, then Clouds Rest and Half Dome. As we were leaving, a wedding was taking place in the amphitheater. Apparently, this is a very popular spot for such events.

I can't imagine anything can top this day, but I'm anxious to see what tomorrow brings.

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