Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Travel Blog

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Got up late this morning, due to a really spicy gumbo meal the night before. I should have known better, I'm Irish, potatoes are spicy to me, but it was so good, couldn't resist it.

Made it to Yosemite National Park around noon and started to get acquainted with the park. So many places to shoot photos from in this park. I can see why it is one of the most popular park destinations. Crowds weren't too bad today, could always find a parking place at the vista viewpoints.

I regret not doing more research on this park before arriving. I'm sure I saw things that I didn't know what the names were. I did hit the highpoints, Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan and was not disappointed.

As I was taking photos of Yosemite Falls, a man on a bicycle provided me with tips on places to get the best photos of the park. He was correct, they were great places, but sometimes I like to get the shots that aren't the same as the other millions of photos already taken. I tend to get to the designated viewpoints and then go to the left or right about 50-100 yards to see if there is a better place to set up the camera. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I never fail to attract at least one person who follows me and takes a photo after I take one, I don't mind, but every now and then I get the feeling I'm being stalked!

Bicycle man did tell me about a trail above Tunnel View that would provide a panoramic vista of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridal Veil Falls. He said close to sunset would make great photos.
Bottom of Bridal Veil Falls
I decided to take him up on his tip and headed to Tunnel View.

I never got to see the view he was talking about.

I headed up the 2.2 mile trail, it was a well used trail and very easy to climb. As I was about 200 yards from the top, I came across a couple that were frantically waving to me. I waved back. The gentleman approached me and kept making a snapping sound. He didn't speak English, only French. I really didn't understand what he was trying to tell me until he pointed to his wife who was sitting on the ground.

She had tripped over a rock on the trail and broke her left leg.  I looked at her leg and determined it was  clean break, no compound fractures. My brain went deep into the archives of Boy Scouts...splint....first aid...yeah, I should have paid more attention.
Me, in front of Bridal Veil Falls at Tunnel View, before I went up the trail and brought the French lady with the broken leg down.

About this time, a woman was making her way down the trail from the top and asked if she could be of assistance. I explained that the woman had broken her leg, at which point she said her name was Kate and a Registered Nurse (RN) from nearby Palo Alto. I told her that she was now in charge!

We used the Velcro straps from my camera back pack and got some limbs to make a splint. The woman, who was 78, and about 95 pounds and 4 feet 10 inches tall, was put onto my back and we made our way down the trail to get medical help. Her husband, who was 83, kept saying "Merci, Merci" the entire trip down.

It took almost 2 hours to go down the trail, stopping every 1/4 mile to rest and drink water. At the bottom, we flagged down a park ranger in one of the tour wagons to call for help.
Half Dome
EMS unit rolled up about 10 minutes later and attended to the woman. One of the paramedics gave me some oxygen because I was still breathing pretty hard. My shirt was completely soaked in sweat as the sun finally set.

I said to Kate that the worst thing was that I never got to see the view. She said we could go back up, and I said my luck we would find a dead body this time. She said those are easy, you can just role them down the trail. Might want to avoid her hospital!

Kate and I drove to the park store where I bought a new shirt and we got some hot dogs to cook at her campsite, since my hotel was 45 miles away. We talked until 2am and I left to head to the hotel, as I was leaving for Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in the morning.

Definitely a day I will remember.
CFD says:
Impressive story ;) You surely did the right thing!
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
WaltJake says:
You're a hero!
Posted on: Feb 10, 2007
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Bottom of Bridal Veil Falls
Bottom of Bridal Veil Falls
Me, in front of Bridal Veil Falls …
Me, in front of Bridal Veil Falls…
Half Dome
Half Dome
Half Dome again
Half Dome again
Top of Bridal Veil Falls
Top of Bridal Veil Falls
Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls
Very tame deer near the park store…
Very tame deer near the park stor…