Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

Yosemite: Saturday, March 28th

When we woke up this morning it was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day. Considering there had been seven inches of snow falling on Yosemite Valley last weekend, we were so lucky to get such gorgeous weather. Dad had made reservations for us at Yosemite Lodge, and Yosemite Falls roared right outside our doorway.

This was our view from the doorway of the hotel room:

Dad had already left to attend the early Yosemite Association meetings, but Seanie and I had not slept well so we didn't eat breakfast until 9 or so. By the time we made it down to the Visitor's Center for the morning talks, we'd missed the Park Superintendent's address and the first round of presentations. Oh well. We had a few minutes to burn until the next speaker started, so we wandered over to the Indian Village to goof around.


My coffee and I:

Cute couple picture:

The first speaker we listened to was Robert Pavlik, author of a new biography about Norman Clyde, a renowned climber in his day and classic mountain man. Seanie fell asleep. Mr. Pavlik talked a lot about his research process and read an excerpt from the book Norman Clyde, legendary mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada. It was pretty neat; I don't know much about the explorers of the Sierra Nevada outside of the famous John Muir.

The final talk of the morning was an appearance by 'Baby Peggy,' a woman who had starred in over 100 silent films when she was a tiny tot! One of the films, Peg o' the Mounted, was filmed in Yosemite (although the plot actually involved Canadian Mounties...) so we watched it, with some narration and commentary from the aged starlet. (Seanie commented that he had seen her earlier in the day, and had been amazed that someone so well dressed was at the Yosemite Association meetings. She was impeccable in a pink suit and looks younger than a woman of ninety.)

We ate lunch on the balcony of our hotel room because the weather was so lovely. Half Dome was visible behind the treeline.

After we ate Seanie took a nap while Dad and I read. At two we shlepped down to the far end of the Valley, near the park entrances, to see Greg Stock, the park geologist, give a lecture about geology and rockfalls at El Capitan, a site he had been studying. This was especially timely because at 5:36 that morning, there was a major rockfall on the other end of the Valley, near Mirror Lake. People were advised to stay clear of the area in case more rocks fell.

Mr. Stock:

(Would he be Ranger Stock, I wonder?)

After reassuring everyone that yes, rocks did fall in the upper Valley and no, there hadn't been any deaths, Greg told us about an old rock avalanche that happened around 1600 BC, which he had been researching the past few years. He has actually been spending a lot of time around El Capitan; the other major project he talked about was a survey of the geologic face of El Cap he was in the middle of when a rock fall near Curry Village last winter diverted his attention. The El Cap project was pretty neat; he was mapping out the types of rock covering the face of the cliff.

Each color represents a different kind of rock. Pink is Taft Granite, Magenta/Red is El Cap Granite, the Bluish color is a Diorite intrusion:

After the talk Greg led a short hike (really more of a walk) over to the base of El Capitan.

El Capitan:

From the base looking up:

(It doesn't look that intimidating, really!)

Climbing El Cap with my bare hands:

Total vertical height achieved: 9' out of 3000'.

Seanie and I:

Just a funny picture Seanie took:

By the time we finished goofing around at El Capitan it was time for dinner, so we hoofed it back to Yosemite Lodge and ate up. One of the rangers was doing a Top 10 Yosemite Firsts presentation at 7, so we attended her talk. It was pretty long, and covered everything from the First People to Live in Yosemite to the First Woman to Become a Ranger. I can't think of any topic Ranger Karen didn't manage to touch on at least briefly.

Tons more photos can be found on Facebook here and here.
Tags: el capitan, geology, hiking, indian village, rock falls, vacation, yosemite

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