Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hetch Hetchy

On our second day, we went a bit north to see Hetch Hetchy.  Sometimes called a "second Yosemite valley," the Hetch Hetchy valley was made into a reservoir in the early 20th century by damming the Tuolomne River as it exits the valley.  The Hetch Hetchy reservoir has been controversial since it was first proposed and proposals for removing the dam and draining the reservoir are made frequently.

The view from the parking lot, before walking across the top of O'Shaughnessy Dam: 
The water jet at the bottom of the dam (presumably exiting the power turbine) is impressive:
Looking downstream along the Tuolomne River:
It may not be Yosemite, but it's still pretty dazzling:
This part of the park is littered with propaganda arguing for the goodness and cleanliness of the water and power that is provides:
The dam was built between 1915 and 1938:
Presumably this water fountain on the dam draws from the famously clean reservoir:
Atop the dam, about to enter the tunnel on the far side to begin the hike:
Views along the trail as we hiked the north rim of the reservoir, out to the Wapama Falls (which are totally dry this time of year):

 Posing alongside Highway 120 on the way back from Hetch Hetchy:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Yosemite Valley

In late September, Pauline and Shawn came to visit and we went out to Yosemite for a long weekend.  We rented a house in nearby Groveland and did day trips into the park.

First up, naturally, was Yosemite valley.  Here we are, with North Dome (I think) in the background.
Our first adventure in the valley was to hike up to Vernal Fall from the Happy Isles Visitor Center.  While the trail is mostly paved, it is quite steep.

Here we are on the bridge where you get the first view of Vernal Fall.  At this time of year, especially after a dry winter, it is but a faint trickle.

Eventually we decided that we'd walked far enough uphill, so we took a breather (and some photos) and then headed back.

Happy to be walking DOWNhill.
The Merced River near Happy Isles is idyllic.

After our morning hike, we checked out Yosemite Village, which includes a historic Post Office.
We retired to the bar at the storied Ahwahnee Hotel for well-deserved cocktails.
Next up was climber-spotting on El Capitan.

The view from the meadow across from El Capitan is pretty great.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Young Wallace turned 29 this year and we went to Boise to celebrate!

On Saturday, Wallace, Casey & Brian went skydiving. Check out Brian's video here.
We also visited Young Wallace's robot factory.

On Sunday, we floated the Boise River!

The river is mostly calm.

I felt lucky to have the best skipper.

We took a break for swimming...

... bird-watching...

... lunch...

... and sunbathing.

We learned that Brian is not to be trusted.

He sneaks up on the unsuspecting.

Rafting is hard work.

This is about the size of the rapids--huge 8 foot drops.

Brian is on the bridge ready to jump.

Wallace jumps from the rock.

What a great trip!!