Yosemite Valley is one of those places that should be on everyone’s bucket list. I have been there several times over the years but each time I enter the valley it is as if it’s the first time, as it never fails to take my breath away. No artist, no matter how good, could possibly compete with the wonders of nature. This world of ours in one amazing and very diverse piece of art. As I ponder this idea, and think about this “journey of discovery” I am on, I see myself standing before a very large piece of art in a gallery. As I stand there my eyes move from one fascinating detail to another, and the longer I look the deeper I am drawn. This artist is a true MASTER… using every medium imaginable… creating brilliant color and subtle hues… using light and shadow to bring out depth and texture that could never be fully reproduced by another. THIS is ART!!

Yosemite was a must on my journey, and I anxiously anticipated laying eyes on this valley for the first time in the winter. I imagined a winter wonderland. Unfortunately the snow gods did not see fit to lay out their beautiful white blanket before my arrival. I admit to feeling a bit disappointed because I had hoped to do a little cross country skiing, and/or try snow shoeing for the first time while here. Regardless, we had one marvelous day of hiking in one of the most glorious places on earth.

[One side note to those traveling with their dogs… the trail maps you can pick up in the valley, as well as the large trail maps you’ll find in many of the parking lots, do NOT designate what trails dogs are allowed on. Not until you reach a trailhead will you find a “no dogs” symbol posted. This can be mighty frustrating when you’ve hiked a mile to get to the trailhead with your dogs in tow. I did find a helpful trail guide online that indicates what trails are pet friendly. http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhikes.htm]

Arriving from the south via Hwy 41. Just on the other side of this tunnel is one of the most spectacular views of the valley.

El Capitan with Half Dome hiding in the background.ย 

I didn’t get the vast snowy landscape I was hoping for, but I did find some little frozen gems along the way.ย 


Me and my roadies enjoying the day…

ย Love the texture of this tree bark……and the heart on El Capitan…The forest really is enchanted! I half expected to see this tree start moving in my direction! ๐Ÿ™‚

This guy brought to mind that old camp song, “Up in the woods, I saw a bear, the bear saw me, oh way up there…” ๐Ÿ™‚And the day ends in glorious hues…






19 thoughts on “Yosemite

      • I had a big 2 week “loop” planned for 2011 but it never panned out. Part of the loop was Yosemite. Maybe 2012 is my year… I have so many places that I want to see and hike into. Utah / Arizona / New Mexico could easily take a lifetime to explore…

        • Michael, I’d love to see your list. I know you always seek out beautiful places. It would be nice to compare. Maybe we can meet up along the way and do a little shooting together!

  1. my husband and I have been there twice now and loved it both times….I agree that it should be on everyones bucket list…we have been fulltime rving now since 2009. great pics by the way….

  2. Hey Fran… All I can say is WOW! We visited Yosemite for my 50th Birthday and I hope to return for my 60th!! It’s a magical place, and oh the light for taking photographs!! You took me right back to being there through your lens, thank you. I live 1 1/2 hours outside of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I hope you get a chance to visit it in the winter months, you would love it. I will be tagging along on your journey through your lens and I can’t wait until your next instalment! Cheers and Happy New Year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Lynne. Thanks so much! I understand Banff is beautiful. I doubt I’ll visit in my RV in the winter, but I would LOVE to get up there one day soon. Happy New Year!

  3. Wow Fran, Ive always wanted to go to Yosemite. It looks like you are having a great time! I wish you would post more often, Im hungry for more pics. I know not every place you go is beautiful but Im sure you have all sorts of interesting sights and people everywhere. I love seeing pics of your dogs too! Show us more of them! They are beautiful. I lost my Sheltie Ginger just a few days ago and I so wish I had more pics of her now. Youre so lucky to have them with you and to provide comfort and love and laughter on this journey. Thanks for keeping us posted! Im so envious of the freedom you have now and the endless possiblity each day brings to you. BIG HUGS!

    • Hey Dixie! So sorry to hear about Ginger. I know just how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. I’ve lost all too many over the years.

      I hear a resounding choir asking for more posts and more images, but frankly… sometimes I have to shake off the pressure to post. You, as a photographer, can well imagine the editing process after shooting all this amazing scenery (and I am NOT part of the “over shooters anonymous” club!) I obviously can’t do it while driving, nor while I’m walking the dogs, or setting up camp, or fixing dinner, or hiking… shooting… visiting friends. I have to write as well, which… despite what you might think… does not always just spill right out of me. I anguish over blogging, and honestly… I don’t think I should. That is not what this journey is about. Blogging is a side effect. Sometimes a benefit, to me and hopefully to others. It’s a journal that those who are interested get to read. This journey is about letting go of the tremendous pressures we all bring into our lives. I’ll blog when I can. When I don’t… just imagine the fun I’m having!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hello you two! The journey continues to be amazing! I’m in Colorado now, and will be back in Idaho next month, but I doubt I’ll get that far north this time around. You’ll be on my route again some day, and I’d love to see you when I come through. Thanks for dropping in!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pingback: Return to Yosemite | Journey In Focus

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