Yosemite :: California Travel Photography

“Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where.
Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars.
This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

- John Muir

It occurred to me, as this trip drew nearer, that what I was most looking forward to – mostly out of the familiarity of trips past – was the length of days. The seemingly endless length which makes the rising of the sun not a nuisance but a head-start. The coming of night not a call to sleep, but to linger, night by rainy or perfectly clear night, around the fire. We always linger until it seems nearly impossible that it is time to recharge from the day’s bountiful exhaustion. And yet, this exhaustion is more a filling than depletion – no matter which way you look at it.

Everything about Yosemite National Park is magnificent. I could do it no more justice than that with my words, and far less with my photos. Thank goodness there are people like Ansel Adams and John Muir, who have each gone before, telling the way – leading you to a place your heart was meant to be, if even for just a few brief moments. On this visit, our first (and surely, not our last) – we got a taste for that – and that was hardly grazing on the meat of all that is left of Yosemite for us to one day discover. Our time, limited as it was, was spent camping on the banks of the South Fork of the Merced and then the Merced itself, hiking through the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove, playing in the rain, snow, and sun, hiking to stunning (and misty!) waterfalls such as Bridal Veil and Yosemite Falls, and driving to points and overlooks you only dream of as a person who appreciates feeling small and wondering at great expanses.

Still as small as one feels, you can’t help but feel greatness – both of Creator and creation – grow as the hours pass on. As laughter and joy – disappointment and challenges, are shared with such company in such a context as Yosemite. One can’t help but feel the need to go back, as I have every day since we left.

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5 comments

June 8, 2011 - 1:28 pm

Mark Parnell - Gosh, that sure is beautiful! Wished I could have been there…oh wait…I was!!! Pictures look awesome Kristine! Can’t wait to see the pics from the Parnell-less leg!

June 9, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Cliff - Love em!!! Wish I were back there!

June 11, 2011 - 3:43 pm

natalie - holy cow, the hammock one– WANT.

beautiful photos, as always!

July 10, 2011 - 7:57 am

Aunt AnnaLeigh - Dear Kristine

We are enjoying your photos, and your Grampa’s second visit.

This was the weekend for our High School alumni reunion [my 50th] and it was so nice to have Bert with us to enjoy the weekend. We are taking him camping with us next weekend way up north in NH. Yes, there is still more NH beyond us.

Your photos are outstanding!! As are your stories. Keep doing what your are doing.

Love, Aunt AnnaLeih & Uncle Mathew

June 14, 2011 - 11:18 am

Crater Lake :: Oregon Travel Photography » Kristine Neeley - [...] weeks ago (though we ended with Lassen, the rain made documenting near impossible). See posts from Yosemite and Redwood, for [...]

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