Archive | November 2016

Erratically Yours

At Olmsted Point in Yosemite National Park, along Highway 120 there are a few interesting things to see, if you like that type of thing, that is?

I used to have a Geology Teacher in Sacramento, who took our class on a field trip to Yosemite. Before we went, he showed us a number of slides pointing out Geological Features, and how they were created.


These boulders are known as Erratics. They didn’t fall down from somewhere, as there is nowhere to fall down from. Not at Olmsted Point anyway, but my Teacher showed us some slide from this place with someone he knew, posing on top of one of these stones. “Two Erratics in Yosemite” was his explanation, which was one of those subtle Geology Jokes, along with a woman sitting on a stone in another location, “A picture of 2 Dikes, which should have been spelled Dyke, which gives it an entirely different meaning, then that in Geology!

Don’t point any fingers at me, and tell me that was not politically correct! After all, I was on the course, taking notes, and trying to interpret exactly what the teacher was talking about?!

Here is what Merriam Webster has to say about Erratics:  transported from an original resting place especially by a glacier <an erratic boulder>

You see, Yosemite was created more or less by the action of glaciers moving ice here and there, transporting those boulders from someplace else to Olmsted Point to enhance its scenic values!

Here are a few more shots of Erratics, to show you that I did indeed concentrate on other things than sunbathing women, and marauding bears!


See how interesting Olmsted Point is?

Here is a rather longish link to a 360 degree Google look at this very spot:!1s0x8096f6e6587d64d3:0xb938b2acf66cdd7!2m16!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m10!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e4!3m1!7e115!4s/maps/place/olmsted%2Bpoint/@37.810799,-119.4851524,3a,75y,198.54h,90t/data%3D*213m4*211e1*213m2*211sytfb4Rymv6mP8H-fapVvXA*212e0*214m2*213m1*211s0x0:0xb938b2acf66cdd7!5solmsted+point+-+Google-s%C3%B8gning&imagekey=!1e2!2sytfb4Rymv6mP8H-fapVvXA&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwid2unLuszQAhWHJSwKHWUvD2EQpx8IfjAO

Whew! That was one doozy of a link!

But don’t worry, as there is one more blog to go from this highway stop over, and it will be something special for you lovers out there!

Next Time: Show me your slabs, baby!


The Tioga Road

Well, after my less-than-nice experiences in Yosemite Valley, I now was on the way to the wilder part of Yosemite. Some might argue that Yosemite Valley with its hospital clinic and own court house was wild enough for most people, but I wanted to see the back country once again!

Highway 120 led me back to my first night’s campground at Crane Flat, and onward toward Tioga Pass. There were trees, and more trees, with an occasional pullout for some trail leading somewhere, where I wasn’t going, at least on this trip.

One stop along the way is called Olmsted Point. It offers nice views of the back side of Half Dome, and Cloud’s Rest, which are now between me and the Valley.


Olmsted Point was more than just good views, it was also a chance to see how the other half lives! My modest Ford was no match for this little RV Puppy, which must stay on the road no matter how windy it is! Isn’t America Great?

My pictures were taken in the afternoon, when the sun didn’t exactly cooperate in the way of nice, clear photos, but just to hurry time a bit, I’ve included the photos from the way back down this road, taken 3 days later, in the early morning to show the difference.


Clouds Rest on the left, Half Dome on the right in the distance. (late afternoon)


Half Dome again on the right (taken in early morning)


Nice Information about Frederick Olmsted and his contribution to Yosemite.img_3247img_3248

Here are 2 views farther along the highway, with Tenaya Lake and its Domes in the background (late afternoon)


Looking in the same direction in the early morning.

Olmsted Point is also famous for another Geologic Feature, but that will have to come in my next blog, “Erratically Yours”.

Yosemite Valley or Bust!

Now with all of the viewpoints left behind, I set my sights for Yosemite Valley.

In 2009, The National Park Service conducted a Summer survey with the following results:

93% of respondents listed “viewing scenery” as their primary activity, which is out of a total of around 4 million yearly visitors. Most of the visitations are from June to September.

During my visit, I had been at Crane Flat, seen some Redwoods, and had seen the major viewpoints of Washburn Point, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome and Valley View. The only thing left was to visit the Valley itself.

This late in the Summer, the waterfalls had gone dry, but the majesty of the steep granite walls made this visit equally as important to complete.


I was no stranger to the Valley. I had been here many times before, though more than a few years had gone by since then. The planners of this popular tourist goal have divided the road system up into one way roads, helping to ferry the traffic to the major view points, as well as the very informative Visitor’s Center.

There was just one problem, and that occurred at the same time as my visit:


It seem that the Park had planned roadwork, beginning the week before my visit. Now the well thought out planned road system was turned into a series of confusing signs, loads of confused tourists, and roads that didn’t make any sense, whatsoever.

I followed the first signs to the Visitor’s Center. Right, right, right, left. Then I was presented with the Valley Exit!

Try again. Right, right, left, up and down, in and out. I wasn’t getting anywhere, and the lack of signs added to my frustration. There was a large parking lot, but no signs as to what it was in proximity of. Then I found the courthouse and the other important buildings nearby, but no sign to the Visitor’s Center. More frustration. I finally gave up with my idea and decided to leave this most majestic of all places.

I stopped a few times along the way out and took the following pictures:

El Capitan.



Tourist Sightseeing Tram.


Half Dome.


Close up – Half Dome


Permit required to climb Half Dome, which is open for such things in Summer.


Sentinel Rock.


Sentinel Rock seen in the left background


Cathedral Rocks (below)



Source for all maps: NPS. National Park Service

Then a parting shot of El Capitan, before my journey led me to the next part of Yosemite: The Tioga Road.


I really was looking forward to visiting the Valley, but circumstances beyond my control made it a different kind of experience, than I was expecting. I wasn’t going to let one setback ruin the rest of my visit, but it just meant that I had to think creatively, and set my sights for  the Yosemite, that was farther away from the traffic jams and road construction mess that I just had experienced…..


Source: Google Maps


Alien Meeting Place

I knew it when I saw it. No doubt in my mind.


OK. Some might be fooled by the Graffiti, but not me. Others might liken it to King Kong’s wedding ring, but as we all know, that was in New York City! Wrong Coast – Really!

Nope. It is an Alien Symbol as sure as shooting!

I am reassured though, that it is in San Francisco. It seems fitting, that’s all!

If the ring fits………….

Valley View – Yosemite National Park

I was a bit disappointed to say the least, when I finally arrived at the World Famous “Valley View” at Yosemite National Park.

Oh, I had seen it before, and I wasn’t disappointed those times, but it was never with so many people in the way, cramming into the parking lot, vying for space with their Selfie Sticks, and yelling at each other in their native tongue.

I just wanted My Yosemite, with its high granite walls, waterfalls and a feeling of attaining Heaven on Earth!

Wonder Dog held his paw up as if to say, “To the left”, or “to the right” of the multitudes of tourists wanting their picture with the famous landmarks as their backdrop.

I pressed myself to the left, and to the right. It seemed as if, even Photoshop couldn’t save this shot!


I don’t know, if I’d call this shot a keeper, unless those two young women were really special to me, which they are not! El Capitan is seen in the background.

I then moved my camera over a bit, and tried again.


I guess, it was all right, in regard to the composition, as the sky only filled 1/3 of the photo, but I felt again that something was lost in this translation of Yosemite! I really wanted the whole picture, and not just the tops of those famous landmarks.


There we go, that was better. In the background, where the shadow meets the sun is about where Bridalveil Falls would have been, if there was water present so late in the year. I feel that the fellow wearing the tan cap adds to the shot with his left leg bent just enough to show his shoe lifting off the ground!


I might just use this part later on, so I used “Paint” in Windows to cut out the most important aspects of this perspective.


Here is Half Dome in the background, with Sentinel Rock on the right-hand side. Notice how the Selfie Stick adds to the horizontal perspective, while the pink top and dark glasses, help to accentuate the lower half of this photo.

Well, now that I’ve introduced you to the Valley View, you’ll be wanting to visit Yosemite in your own special way. I’d advise you to take a lot of flash drives with you, in order to capture the moment using your own unique photographic style.

I was able to combine all of the above aspects into one unforgettable shot. I hope you agree?


I really couldn’t see myself together with the others, so you’ll just have to imagine me standing there, looking rather lost with all the other distractions around me!


Sorry, I just couldn’t imagine myself being there after all…………………….




My last point of Communication was the Foothills town of Sonora.



That is not important in itself, but if anyone wanted to track my movements, then that would be my last point of reference!

My Cellphone was more or less useless, unless I really wanted to play with the calculator, the notepad, or change the settings as much as I wanted. It was just a piece of electronic junk, occupying space in the car.

I  had entered the Zone of Incommunicado. The radio still worked, as did my brain, my mouth and other forms of communication. I was allowed to enter Yosemite National Park by paying a fee, relating to the Ranger on duty, and using my brain and the car to propel me onward to my destination.

The next 2 days had more of the same. My Cellphone worked as a timepiece, and as a camera, a quick one with 8 megapixels of photo-ness.

Someone spoke in her telephone. I didn’t have any net at all, but she went on and on to someone as if she had connections of some sort? Another fellow made a comment, “she probably has a Analog telephone. An Analog what? Do those puppies still exist? Or, was she just a bit on the “American Crazy Side” speaking to her imaginary significant other?

No matter. I planned on visiting this National Park, and that is what I aim to do. Sightseeing. Hiking. Camping. You know, touristy stuff?

With a Canteen, but without contact to the outside world….

Living life on its ragged edge!


Just Why Did You Leave California?

You know what? I get that question all the time. And you might be able to guess, what the next question is…

Yes. Some of you might have guessed it already.

“Was it Because of Linda?”

You see, how those things just seem to fit together? Linda this, and Linda that. Well, there is a reason for all of that Linda business, and that is one of the greatest stories of my life – The Linda Chronicles.

Some of you might think that she just faded away to someplace like Albania? Or perhaps decided to become a nun at a mountain top monastery, well the answer is both yes and no. Our relationship demanded such action when we finally had to part ways, that it was almost a religious experience for the both of us.

California had been our home for the start of our lives, but the time that we spent together, ruined any possibility for us to continue living there, especially without each other. It would be like living a lie, and that fact made us take the drastic steps that still affect us today.

Linda moved out East, and though she was gone from sight and sound, I entertained the idea of finding her again someday. I watcher her movements for a while, just continuing a bit farther, to Denmark actually, but I never stopped thinking about her.

You never know, I might even have passed by her house on my journey across the USA?

“Why are you staring out of the window?”, she might have been asked, not knowing what she was looking at. “Oh, just a feeling, I had. That’s all.”

The porch swing trembled a bit, as if a breeze had just caught it unaware, and forced it from its quiet state of dreaming. Linda gazed outside, wanting to go out of the front door, wanting to meet her fate. She might have hesitated a moment before sighing, and turning her back on her destiny. “It was just the breeze, that’s all”, she said to no one important. Just someone she ended up with, instead of someone else.

I moved onward toward my “new” destiny. I hesitated, before continuing on to the next town, the next State. “Why did you stop, in that last town?” I was asked by the woman of my choice. Her name was not Linda, but it might have been, if our destinies had traveled along the same path.

“Oh, nothing. Just a feeling, I had. That’s all.”

I drove on, feeling as if there was something else to be said in that town, just not to the woman by my side. There had been another, you see. Linda was her name, and it all began back in……………