|Half Dome from Sentinel Bridge|
But sometimes events conspire. A pandemic continues to rage across the country in large part because a significant proportion of the population refuses to mask up or get a vaccination. As a result, the National Park Service instituted a reservation system at Yosemite National Park, limiting the number of daily visitors. And despite the desperately dry conditions caused by the intense drought, there were a number of monsoon-related thunderstorms in the High Sierra in the last few weeks. Mrs. Geotripper and I decided to give the valley a chance, so I carefully watched the reservation site (recreation.gov) and caught a cancellation. We headed up the hill on Monday.
|The view from Swinging Bridge of Yosemite Falls|
There is usually a gaggle of photographers standing on Sentinel Bridge (the top picture) because of the artful possibilities of catching the reflection of Half Dome on the Merced River. We had the bridge to ourselves. Swinging Bridge (which for the record does not swing) was crowded as always, but even there the bridge was empty for a few moments and I was able to score a shot of Yosemite Falls without the aforementioned crowds in the picture.
Another crowded spot on a normal day is Valley View at the west end of the valley. The small parking lot is usually packed, but once again there were spots available. El Capitan (left) and the Cathedral Rocks and the wispy, nearly invisible Bridalveil Falls (right) reflected on a slow-moving stretch of the Merced River.