Tag Archive | Yosemite National Park

Keep on Dreaming – Final Blog

(Originally written 26 September 2016 after having returned from California)

I was at a Fast Food Outlet at Minneapolis International Airport on my way from the West Coast of the USA to Denmark, while I met a young woman working her shift.

“Do you like your job?” I asked in a very Western Way, which I tried to do while in India, but was sadly disappointed when doing so. Like and Job didn’t fit together in that instance, while I probably should have asked, “Isn’t it great having a job, or Nice place to work, you are lucky”.

This young woman was happy with her job, because it gave her the opportunity to meet new people while doing so.

Next question: “Do you have a passport?”

The answer was “No”, but she wanted to get one eventually.

Next question: “If you had a passport, and the money to travel, where would you go?”

She thought a bit before answering. “To the jungle”, she said.

I answered a bit facetious: “Los Angeles, perhaps?”

“No, the rain forest”, she replied without blinking. “Or better yet, Japan”.

Hmm. They did have those Snow Monkeys in Japan, I thought.

“Keep your dreams alive, save your money, and go” – That was my advice. I told her how I was living in Denmark, speaking the language on a daily basis, and so on.

She then asked: “How long before you were fluent?”

Funny thing, but I don’t even consider myself fluent today, even though 25 years have gone by.

My reply: “Youth and interest play a bit part in learning anything new. Put your mind to it, and you can learn anything!”

Her face beamed with the expression of joy and wonderment. I imagined that I made a difference in her dreams, and that she too would take up my challenge to someday journey outside of USA’s borders, and experience something different and foreign.

I ended with telling her, that a number of Danes could travel to the usual tourist destinations, and feel safe knowing that someone there could speak Danish, and that the signs at restaurants and hotels, would be in Danish as well.

I thought that Japan was a good choice. Let yourself experience something so foreign, that you might just lose yourself, or get yourself lost in all of that foreignness. Try something different for a change, and see how the rest of the world lives.

My path led me away from that Fast Food Counter and onward to the next Gate and the next Plane……………

Wonder what ever happened to Wonder Dog? Or what about Linda? Those were things that I used early on, but disappeared over time.

As an added treat, here is a rare photo of Wonder Dog, enjoying his first ever Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie in Yosemite National Park


Seeing as how he is a teenager and all, and not always sure about being my son, when I act other than he expects me to, I have not included his photo in this blog. This being the last one, however, I felt that he deserved at least a short mention, as well as receiving my thanks for a great trip, and his much appreciated photographic talents!

Linda has faded into the shadows of Northern Michigan, which is how all former “loves” tend to be, with them liking that distinction, or not?

I thought of continuing this blog with any number of additional photos, but that would only prolong its existence.

For all of you who shared my trip, I extend an appreciation for your reads and likes along the way.  I felt that this was a fitting point in time to end this blog, so as to remain credible within the confines of my 3-week trip last year.

Happy Traveling……Down your own Inner Ear…….


Mt Dana – The Descent

Here is a map showing Mt Dana in Yosemite National Park


The trail starts out of sight to the left about where the boundary line between Mono and Tuolumne Counties meet.

This blog is concerning the descent of Mt Dana.

You might think that the descent is the same as the ascent, but you’d be wrong. The descent of a peak is quicker, but more dangerous with each step needing to be considered, along with thinner air and level of concentration.

The amount of pictures varies as well. Now the level of tiredness is diminished allowing for other pictures to be considered, than those on the way up.


Here is another obvious shot of the trail?


Note the reds and oranges of the Metamorphic Rocks comprising Mt Dana.



The clouds sweeping along the surface made for interesting photos.


View to the North with Mt Conness and North Peaks dominating the skyline.


The way down with the Tioga Road visible in the left background.


More reds and yellows of the surrounding terrain.



Looking back toward the summit.



A shot of yours truly working his way down slope, Mt Dana


Rocks, rocks and more rocks!




Look closely at the above 2 photos. The large mammal known as The Marmot is visible on the rocks. Marmots are considered to be large squirrels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmot) and are often found in rock slides at the higher elevations in California. They kept an eye on me as I passed by, but there was no danger on their part, as they could just disappear under the rocks faster than I could whistle…and they were better at that as well!





Here are 3 parting shots looking back at Mt Dana. I don’t know when I’ll be seeing it again, but it was worth the climb!



Yosemite National Park Entrance Station, Tioga Pass.

Mt Dana – The Summit

I  wouldn’t want to lie about my hiking abilities, so I won’t. I had hiked Mt Dana twice before back in the 80’s, but a few years have passed me between then and now.

The top, however, is/was just as glorious as the other times, bringing back all of those good memories to my a-bit-older-body-and-mind.

Views from Mt Dana 3891 meters/ 13053 feet.


Here is a view to the South, showing a part of the Dana Plateau, and some of the peaks of the High Sierra to the South.


If you want to climb to the top of Yosemite, then you’ll have to ascend Mt Lyell, 61 feet taller than Mt Dana, and surrounded by glaciers on its Northern side. It is the prominent peak in the center of this photo, resting in back of Lyell Glacier.



On top of Mt Dana I met a Botanist from Colorado, and a few fellows from India. This view is looking Northwards.


The most obvious item of interest is Mono Lake. It is actually a large volcanic caldera, with some small islands dotting the surface. It is an important bird breeding area, but its surface area has been affected by the City of Los Angeles and its ever present need for water. A court ruling has, however, increased the amount of water allocated for Mono Lake, which is to insure its continued importance in this otherwise dry part of California.


This is by far my most favorite view from the summit. The brown peak in the foreground is Mt Gibbs (3893 meters), and the others (in the far right background) being (l) Mt Rodgers (m) Mt Lyell (r) Mt McClure.


3 Pictures showing the views to the North. The prominent granite peak being Mt Conness (3837 meters/12,590 feet)

The time spent on peak summits is way too short for me, but the car and the campground are waiting for me, so I need to set my sights for them, thus ending my encounter with the High Sierra for now.

You might think that this is the end of Mt Dana, but the way down is the subject of my next blog……

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4….

Ever wonder where the less-than-glamorous photos end up?

Let’s take the ones from from Yosemite.

Taken  out of the car window, while I am tooling along the highway, looking for bears or pretty girls, who are over 18 and wild about older men and their faithful dogs, the girls that is, not the bears!

OK, but there are photos none the less, and not everyone would put them on their blog site, but then I am not everyone!

These photos are from Yosemite, but are taken from the car window, with no intention of hiding the fact that the car wanted to be included! There is one shot of a most necessary item, which wasn’t taken  from the car, but it deserves a place in my collection all the same.



Another goodie. Slow for the Cone Zone!


Entry into Yosemite National Park at Crane Flat.


That most necessary item!


Half Dome in the background. Taken at Olmsted Point.


I liked this one so much that Wonder Dog almost fell out of the car, while we zoomed along the highway, having to take the picture before the sign disappeared!


My good old Dad used to tell me that the Indian Village of Falling Rock existed everywhere in the USA. Not politically correct these days, but he would do anything for a laugh! We didn’t see Falling Rock, but we did see this modern-day equivalent, Rock Slide!


Taken along  Highway 49 after exiting Yosemite and heading northwards once again.

Hiking Up Mt Dana. Yosemite National Park

Mt. Dana is the second highest point in Yosemite National Park, but is a readily accessible mountain for those who dare.


Source: http://www.yosemite.ca.us/maps/yosemite_maps.html

Mt Dana is seen on the far right hand side of the map.

The starting elevation is 9941′ (about 3000 meters) at the Eastern Park Entrance Station at Tioga Pass.


With it being September, the wildflowers were gone, but their seed capsules were seen on the way up, as well as some of the surrounding peaks.

The trail starts off easy winding its way through the forest, rising gently at first, but don’t be fooled, the harder part is still to come.


Here is a look back to the road, and the increasing number of visible peaks to the north. Mt Dana is composed of Metamorphic rocks with their reds, browns and generally dark colors in striking contrast to the tall granite peaks of Yosemite Valley.


Here is a shot showing the Granite Peaks at the Geographic Center of the Park. Mt Hoffmann is seen just left of center. The brown area in the middle of the photo is Dana Meadow showing its Autumn browns and yellows.


Just over halfway up, there is a nice spot to take a rest and view the objective of this trip, Mt Dana.


Just a bit farther ahead, looking back to the North.

After this wide, trail-looking part of the trip, the next portion becomes more demanding, winding its way through the rocks, with some trail markers to help you on your way.


This circle of orange paint was visible from time to time, but that is not what kept me on the straight and narrow.


Some of them more obvious than others! A small pile of stones is referred to as a “duck” while a larger one, like the one above, a “cairn” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairn)


Here is the trail ahead. Can you discern it?



The top is beckoning to me, but I am out of breath!


Looking back at other hikers on the way up.


Up Slope Mt Dana, with the higher peaks near the top of the park, becoming visible to the South.


My foot trying to find its way to the top.


Next Blog – The Summit of Mt Dana!