Yosemite–Day 3 of 5

May 25, 2017 Paul Groves

Yosemite National Park–Day 3

For Day 3, we signed up for a tour of the valley floor on “the Green Dragon”, a truck-pulled trailer of four-person seats. This was a two hour tour led by a Park Ranger, Carol. She has been in service in the Park for many years and was knowledgeable as well as interesting. She told us that the water level (due to the snow melting in this warm weather) is 177% of normal. Some of the tent-houses are flooded, the swinging bridge is underwater, and the river is too fast to allow rafting. On the other hand, there are waterfalls to see that are often just a trickle or do not exist at all a little later in the year. Yosemite Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Vernal Falls are more impressive than usual. Our Ranger also told us of a huge flood in 1997 while she was here. A sign commemorates the amazing height of the water.

We stopped at several places to stretch our legs and take pictures. One of the stops was called Tunnel View, a vista point just after you pass through a tunnel on the south entrance. One of the other visitors took our picture, unfortunately, I am totally blocking a waterfall!

When we stopped to view El Capitan, Ron, with his eagle eyes, picked out two climbers on the face of the rock. The Ranger explained to us that the climbers work in teams of two. I was amazed to learn that a climb might take five days and that the climbers must carry a gallon of water for each climber for each day! Add to that food, climbing gear, and sleeping gear and that is much more of an adventure than I would want to try.

After the tour and lunch, we headed over to The Majestic (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel). It was built to attract the richer guests. It has some very nice features. We especially liked the tall stain glassed windows in the lobby. Rather than take the shuttle back to our camp, we walked and enjoyed the views and waterways. After dinner, Half Dome looked great in the setting sunlight. Another wonderful day in Yosemite and no emergency calls and no drama.