The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Friday, September 30, 2005

Bay Area Bonanza, Part 3

Well, I woke up on my second morning in Yosemite with a shiner!:



The night before I’d gone to check out a local bar, where I overheard a biker gang talking about Maria Callas. I simply interjected that I thought Callas had no business singing Carmen. Well that got their goat! Punches flew, chairs were smashed in two…or maybe it happened when, in the middle of the night, I fell off my little bed and went face-first into the nightstand.

Anyhow...it could have been the craniofacial pain, or maybe I’m just an old softie…but when I found someone sitting on my bench this morning, I DID NOT chase him away:



Just don't tell my dad I was nice to a squirrel.

My big plan for the day was a big hike to the top of a waterfall. The popular Mist Trail goes to the base of Vernal Falls and, for the hearty hikers, continues to the top. After about two miles of steep and strenuous trails you finally reach…a series of more than 500 giant steps to get to the top. It’s called the Mist Trail because the falls typically spray all those who brave it with refreshing mists; but being another late-season trickler, we were not so refreshed.

Hiking up (notice the trail coming up on the left):



Halfway there (notice the rainbows):





The view of the top of the falls...not spectacular, but after I hiked all the way up, it's getting posted:



On a random note, there was a good bit of active wildlife, but most of the time they did not cooperate with those of us trying to take pictures. Just lots of deer butts. So here’s one just for the record:



Then I drove up to the northern part of the park, Tuolumne. It’s a beautiful and less-visited area which includes the Olmstead view made famous by Ansel Adams (not that I am tying to invite any comparison to my own photographic skills):





The weather having cleared, the stars are out in full force at night. They were nearly as plentiful as you see in Arizona. I’d never tried star photos with a digital camera, so here are my first attempts. In the first one, you can see the faint bands of the Milky Way:



This one is the same view over the Yosemite Valley as the Tunnel View (see Entry #2) just at night--look closely and you can see the outlines of the landscape (remember...as always...you can click on the picture to enlarge):



One more:



On my last day, I woke up and headed off to see the Ahwahnee Hotel by daylight. It really is an amazing hotel. Highly recommended as a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth the splurge. There’s actually a PBS special called ”Great Lodges” that they run about it every once in a while… keep your eyes out or click the link:







And finally, one last view of El Capitan on my way out of the Valley:



Now I am in Walnut Creek, a nice suburb of SF (“on the East side of the Bay”) for the big wedding. Here’s a photo of Craig from the rehearsal dinner, which was outdoors at a beautiful restaurant called The Blackhawke Grille (he’s third from the left; on the left is his brother Christian, then his mom Jasmine, and his sister Carissa is on the right):



And finally, this is the laundry card in the Walnut Creek Marriott:



I think that “DELIGHTED” to change your sheets (not just “delighted”, but “DELIGHTED”) is a little over-the-top. Also, what’s with the “Just Like Home” Linen Reuse Program? I think they’re calling us filthy bastards.

2 Comments:

  • You are a filty bastard. I was really excited at the prospect of your first barroom brawl and even more excited that it was over Maria Callas. Stupid nightstand

    PS
    laptr (a great name for a japanese dinosaur. lacist.)

    By Blogger Colleen, at 6:13 AM  

  • i considered writing something encouraging or complimentary about your blog, but instead decided to yell at you over the fact that COLLEEN IS USING "LACIST"!

    ps- colleen, you are not at fault on any level, doug just needs to learn to become his own woman and that's never going to happen if he keeps ripping me off.

    By Anonymous MBL, at 10:21 AM  

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