Friday, November 25, 2011

How to "Spend" Black Friday: A Day in Yosemite...

"Black Friday" depresses me. A religious holiday season introduced not by a ceremony like Advent or something, but millions of people worshiping the almighty dollar by donating many of them to corporations in exchange for cheap and increasingly shoddy merchandise. A day predicated on greed. Pure and simple avarice. Enough of preaching...I got as far away from town as I could. I headed up the hill to a spiritual place.
I bet no one has ever thought to take a picture of Half Dome from the top of Sentinel Bridge before!
Yosemite Valley in November is a place in transition. The fall colors have mostly faded, and only a dusting of snow has graced the high peaks. But there is such stunning beauty in this place.

Sentinel Rock (below) is the kind of spire that would be considered remarkable in any other setting; here in Yosemite it is sometimes overshadowed by other iconic rocks like El Capitan and Half Dome.
The Cathedral Rocks (below) are more often seen from the Bridalveil Falls side. From the east in El Capitan Meadow, the sun shines through the cleft known as the Gunsight.
Many people look at Bridalveil Falls and notice that one of the rocks seems to be close to falling over. The overhung cliff is called the Leaning Tower, for good obvious reasons.
No matter how many times I look at Half Dome, I never fail to be impressed by the scale of this incredible cliff. I take hundreds of pictures of it, but I can never resist taking just one more: here is today's shot.
When you get a chance to visit Yosemite Valley, first take it. Don't say "later"; you never know what will change in your life. Then, when you have seen all you can and you are leaving, stop at Valley View in the late afternoon or at sunset and just wait for magic to happen...
And that's how I spent the day. My Friday wasn't black...
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