Giants in the mist

Yosemite National Park Travel Blog

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America has some amazing natural sites, and we have only seen a handfull in our years here. Before we left the West Coast we wanted the chance to see just a couple more, and the first was Yosemite. So yesterday, having packed up all our bags in Seattle and said our goodbyes to all our wonderful friends, we flew to San Francisco. We had a leisurely afternoon in the Bay City, saw "Role Models" (which I really enjoyed) and slept in a real bed for the first time in over a week.

Today we were off to see one of the wonders of the natural world, Yosemite. The first thing I learned about Yosemite is that it is not pronounced "Yos-e-mite" like Vegemite. Instead it is pronounced "Yo-sim-it-tee", like the Bugs Bunny character. The name is derived from a Miwoks word, "yohhe'meti" meaning "they are killers" referring to the violent Ahwahneechee who lived in the area.

Yosemite National Park is a World Heritage listed park in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The area is simply spectacular, driving in along the ridge road to see the steep granite cliffs, rugged wilderness and high waterfalls. The park had seen its first snow that morning and there was still a light covering on the high passes.

We visited Yosemite falls and Bridalveil falls, the Ansel Adams gallery in the park centre and saw an owl, mule deer and white-tailed deer. We then drove to one of the highlights of the day, Tuolumne Grove, home to the Giant Sequoias. Giant sequoias are the largest living organisms in the world. They are not the tallest tree, that title belongs to their cousin the Redwood, but in terms of biomass they are the largest. Their trunks can grow to 17 metres in diameter and 95 metres in height, living up to 3500 years.
The Giant Sequoia in Tuolumne Grove were certainly enormous, but their scale is so large that it confuses perception, and I could not have called them larger or smaller than the enormous Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir we saw in northern Oregon.

The setting of the Sequoias was magnificant. Down in the valley and covered in a blanket of heavy fog, they crept up on us and faded up into the sky, the giant ghosts of the forests. At their base, living their life on a time-frame so different, were chipmonks and silver-bellied squirrels, flittering beyond the speed of our eye, their entire life lived among the roots of a single giant who could watch over them for two thousand generations in a single life-time.
tanyaPoetzl says:
The pictures and the report is fantastic! Thank you for sharing..Tanya:)
Posted on: Jul 02, 2011
sylviandavid says:
I love the last sentence... you are like sweetski... you write like a poet...
Posted on: Jan 31, 2009
Vikram says:
I found Yosemite dreadfully boring for whtever reason.
Posted on: Nov 11, 2008
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