Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old Postcard Wednesday--Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

I hope to see Yosemite some day and if given the opportunity I'd go in a heartbeat, in spite of certain dangers.....

An Associated Press article published November 17, 2008, reports an alarming rise in rockfalls in the Curry Village area of Yosemite National Park. Read the full report here, while considering yourself warned with these excerpts:

Curry Village is the most family-friendly lodging in the park, consisting of cabins, stores and restaurants run by an outside company. It is in Yosemite Valley, beneath the unstable granite of Glacier Point.

The village has experienced more rockfalls during the past decade than any other place in the one-by-seven-mile valley. U.S. Geological Survey and park records list as many as 46 since 1996 — four times the number during the previous 139 years.

Since 1999, 20 of the structures at Curry Village have been directly hit by boulders and many more have been damaged by flying rocks.

Since 1857, at least 535 rockfalls in Yosemite Valley have killed 14 people and injured 62, more than at any other national park. Yosemite Valley is easily the most collapse-prone place in a park that receives over 3 million visitors a year.

Officials say that visitors assume some risk when they visit national parks, and that the parks are not legally required to post warnings about hazards in wild areas.

"By definition Yosemite National Park is a wild place and these natural processes occur and are going to continue," Gediman said. "By us not putting signs right there, we're not trying to hide the fact that there has been rockfall in the area."

He said if officials put up warning signs about every hazard, the park would be covered with them.

Here's a quick clip of Yosemite Falls:

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic


by Joaquin Miller {what an amazing bio!}

Sound! sound! sound!
O colossal walls and crown'd
In one eternal thunder!
Sound! sound! sound!
O ye oceans overhead,
While we walk, subdued in wonder,
In the ferns and grasses, under
And beside the swift Merced!
Fret! fret! fret!
Streaming, sounding banners, set
On the giant granite castles
In the clouds and in the snow!
But the foe he comes not yet,
We are loyal, valiant vassals,
And we touch the trailing tassles
Of the banners far below.
Surge! surge! surge!
From the white Sierra's verge,
To the very valley blossom.
Surge! surge! surge!
Yet the song-bird builds a home,
And the mossy branches cross them
In the clouds of falling foam.
Sweep! sweep! sweep!
O ye heaven-born and deep,
In one dread, unbroken chorus!
We may wonder or may weep,
We may wait on God before us;
We may shout or lift a hand,
We may bow down and deplore us,
But may never understand.
Beat! beat! beat!
We advance, but would retreat
From this restless, broken breast
Of the earth in a convulsion.
We would rest, but dare not rest,
For the angel of expulsion
From this Paradise below
Waves run onward and... we go.

Speaking of angel of expulsion........take a look at the antics of these crazy Yosemite tourists (yes, that's a bear.....a little one, but still...a bear)!

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

When i was 7 we went to America and one of the places we went to was Yosemite - all i really remember about it is the tall trees that you could drive a car through...

Or was it Yellowstone? I've got a feeling now that my dad made loads of cracks about Yogi Bear, so i may be wrong...

Sorry - that ended up being a bit odd didn't it??

Either way - a beautiful area to visit :)

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Thanks for this warning! I use extreme caution when going to Yosemite myself someday. I really wish we could have added it to our trip to Big Sur.....but we didn't have enough time to fully appreciate both.

That is an awesome waterfall, especially compared to poor ol' Hickory Nut Gorge eh?!

Its not the baby bear they should be worried's the mama bear that'll mess them up! haha People are out of their minds.

timethief said...

Please forgive me for my long absence when it comes to commenting. My head injury is healing but the process may be as long as 18 months and I'm only at the 3 month mark.

My brain is less swollen and the pressure on my optic nerve is beginning to subside. Although I still have problems with my vision, memory and ability to concentrate, as well as, migraines -- my condition is improved enough to begin commenting on blogs again. Yay!

I'm really enjoying these old postcard posts. I really admire the amount of research you put into each one and I find myself fascinated by the information you have presented so well. Keep up the good work on the old postcards because I love these posts.

Love and peace,

Lydia said...

Weird that you'd have this confusion between Yosemite and Yellowstone, because I attended a church camp for three years when I was a kid that was miles away from Yosemite. Or was it Yellowstone? Seriously, very strange but maybe the mix-up isn't all that uncommon.... btw, I'm pretty sure the camp was near Yosemite...

Wayfaring Wanderer,
Isn't that an amazing waterfall? I really want to see it now. But I'd also love to see Hickory Nut Gorge.
Re: the bear, I had the same thought. Those guys were nuts to hang out anywhere near a baby bear. (Wasn't it adorable running away from them like that?)

So good to hear from you. You've been through a life-changing episode and your bravery will help others along the way. Having had two concussions in the past (although not as severe as yours turned out to be) I can attest that it's a frightening and vulnerable feeling not being "right" in the head. My husband teases me that my football career is over....
Don't rush the healing; just be well.

YogaforCynics said...

No matter how many rocks fall, and how many people get maimed by bears, Yosemite will still be safer than any city, any highway, etc. This reminds me of when I hiked the Appalachian Trail and everybody was talking about the hikers who'd been murdered the previous year, and wasn't I scared. The thing is, the reason people all over the country heard about those murders was that such things happening on the A.T. are so incredibly rare....

Lydia said...

Yoga for Cynics,
I admire and envy you for having hiked the Appalachian Trail. I hope to see it some day and hike at least a portion of it.
I agree with you about the dangers of our daily lives outweighing those in nature. What's the stat?...that most fatal accidents occur within 25 miles from home...



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