10/13/15 (Tuesday) in Bass Lake, CA (Bass Lake Recreational Resort -ROD)
Another day at this marvelous park, which, by the way, is in the Sierra National Forest. We plan to return some spring, when it’s so much greener and the water is flowing. We’re hoping that the super el nino happening this year will bless California with the water/snow they so desperately need. We were here almost exactly 3 years ago and we could sure tell there was less water. Plus the fall is when you have the least water anyway!
Today we visited the Yosemite Valley. Last Thursday we dedicated to the high areas that we didn’t see at all on our one day with Roni. LINK
After the mile long tunnel, you are greeted with this amazing view (Tunnel View) of the valley and its mountains. The haze you see is because of several fires that had started Oct. 6th, happening throughout the park.
Next stop: Bridalveil Falls. The heavy smoke you saw in the prior photo is from the Bridalveil fire, where we saw helicopters hauling water to it.
On to the Swinging Bridge. Here again we could see the drop in water levels, yet it was still beautiful.
We were getting hungry, so we drove to the Curry Parking lot, finding 1 picnic table among the bear proof storage boxes. Unfortunately, a climber had his gear pretty much covering that table, but I asked if he’d mind if we ate on it. He said no problem, so we put our tablecloth over half and enjoyed our lunch. We had a couple choices then, the trail to Vernal Falls and Niagara Falls as well as Happy Isle Nature Center. We chose to walk that trail first. It was quite steep for about .8 of a mile, where a footbridge let you get a glimpse of the Vernal Falls. We figured that would be plenty and we were right. I was so grateful that at least the whole path was paved. I couldn’t resist a photo of the unique Yosemite squirrel we saw on our way to the Vernal Falls trail.
Finally, we reached our goal of the footbridge where we get a peak at Vernal Falls! That was a rough slog and going down was even harder on my knees (going up was hard on John’s knees).
At this point I still wanted to investigate the Happy Isle (islands!). John wanted to rest! It was a pleasant stroll in the Sierra Forest with some glimpses of the river, but not the beauty I was expecting.
Then we drove to the Yosemite Visitor Center parking area, getting to walk another 10 minutes to the actual Center. Behind that building was the theater, where we watched 2 excellent movies about Yosemite. Then headed out, getting another drive through that cool tunnel, to home.
As we drove past the campground office we noticed the recently felled trees. They are cutting around 100 trees, dead from the pine bark beetle. It has ravaged this area. You can see those dead and dying trees in this photo of El Capitan, also taken from the road as we left the park.