Tuesday, May 21st
The weather has been very cooperative. Today was another day with a high around 80 and very few clouds. It does get cool at night though.
The pleasant weather was important today particularly since we had signed up for a 90 minute camera class. A professional photographer from The Ansel Adams Gallery led a class of 15 people out into Cook’s Meadow. Most people had fancy cameras, there were a few of us with the basic “point and shoot” cameras.
The class discussed various compositional aspects of taking pictures, using a variety of settings. She, the photographer, discussed the meadow, sunlight, birds, animals, water, and the rocks as we hiked through the meadow and were told to create our own story in our photographs.
Two weeks ago, her class had come across two bears in the meadow. Today we came across a professional photographer out shooting with a large crew. Ian Ruhter wet plate photography. He has one of the largest mobile cameras in the world and uses technology dating back to the 1850s. Very appropriate for Yosemite since photographers were critical to educating the world about Yosemite.
After the class, we took a little time to visit the American Indian museum here, The Miwok Indians lived in Yosemite until gold was discovered in the CA valleys and that swiftly ended their life here.
Our afternoon hike was to Mirror Lake, a pleasant journey through the woods. We practiced some of our class lessons, even comng across several of the other participants during the hike.
Tonight’s entertainment is another talk/video sponsored by the Yosemite Conservancy titled Yosemite Search and Rescue. Yosemite has over 300 volunteers working in the park, along with 700 rangers and over 1,000 employees working for Delaware North, the park concessionaire. Over 4.5 million visitors come here each year. Accidents do occur. And if you thought we were cautious people before, it will just increase.
Yes, I know, accidents and stupid/risky behavior occur everywhere. But somehow looking down a 1500 foot drop makes it a bit more dramatic. Actually, the ranger giving the presentation said more search and rescue (SAR) operations develop from hikers than from climbers. Of course, there are a lot more hikers.
Some of his examples involved places we had been too already. One hiker swept over Vernal Falls and his body was not found for over two months. A father taking his toddler into a stream and having the child saved from being swept downstream due to the actions of two bystanders. A climber losing both legs by going climbing unprepared for the most basic needs. All in all, a very moving presentation.
Ed and Chris May 22 10 AM
Ed and Chris