In 1990 my college buddies talked me into a backpacking trip. We hiked from Tuolumne Meadows, through Pate Valley and finishing at White Wolf. We did this trip in seven days. This was my first backpacking trip. I was the ultimate noob! My pack was full of things I had no business bringing. I was totally out of shape and had no idea what I was getting into. On top of all of that I woke up with an abscessed tooth the morning we were supposed to depart. A quick trip to a local Oakhurst dentist allowed me to make it to the trailhead in time. Needless to say the physical part of this journey was not enjoyable. What I did find was that I had discovered the place that brought me closest to, whatever it may be, that created all of this. Yosemite, from that day forward, became my church. What does this have to do with photography you ask? From that date on I have spent many hours photographing both the valley and the backcountry of Yosemite. Both on film and more recently digitally.
This week, on Friday, I depart for another photographic journey to Yosemite. We have been blessed with several feet of snow at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Yosemite high country is blanketed with the beautiful white stuff. The Valley Floor has seen more than just a dusting over the last few weeks and i'm curious if we are going to be lucky enough to see it this trip. As of this writing two small storms are on track to hit while i'm there. I save a ton of money by staying in the Curry Village tent cabins. While heated with propane heaters several blankets will be necessary.
There is a new twist that has recently happened in the valley. The concessions company that lost the contract for all of the businesses in Yosemite is fighting in court, for compensation, for the naming rights of practically everything in the park. The Ahwhanee, Curry Village, the Wawona as well as the title of the park "Yosemite National Park" has been claimed by this company. With the exception of the later, everything has been renamed temporarily. Only a judge will decide the outcome and I'm sure it will take years before it is resolved. You can read about it here. I don't really care what changes are made, I will continue to call these locations by the only names I have ever known. That I know is true.
My last trip to Yosemite happened in February of 2014 and I was lucky enough to catch a departing storm from the Valley View parking area. It is my favorite image to date of the valley.
There are two additonal images from this trip that I love. One of Upper Yosemite Falls and the other a view from the road that I captured out my car window. You never know when an amazing image is going to happen.