Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yosemite Above Valley, Hetch Hetchy Valley

Today, it was Yosemite from on high.  After seeing the Valley from Glacier Point, we had planned to go to the Mariposa area in South West Yosemite to see the Sequoia Trees there, but change our minds and went to Hetch Hetchy Valley in North West Yosemite instead.

The Valley is around 4,000 feet.  Above the Valley are two lookouts which are around 7,500 feet high.  That was our first goal.  
Of course, you go that high in early May, you run into snow...but it was all off the road, no problem at all.
You also run into wonderful scenic views...hard to keep you eye on the road.
Then we get to the first look out, and there are stairs....the scooter does not do stairs, and the stairs were too narrow for Marcia.
But a kind soul showed Marcia another route down, and bless her heart, she started to walk down with the walker since I was already down there.  But I walked up and met her right at the start of it, and pulled the car over and got out the scooter.  She road right on down, and enjoyed the view.  Above you can see her as she tries out the view with our binoculars.
Of course, someone else wants in on the action too....but she was too busy looking and barking at the other dogs which were down there then to enjoy the view.  That's our Skruffy girl.
And the view was something else.  Here you can see, from Glacier Point, Half Dome (left) and Nevada (above right) and Vernal (Bottom right) Falls.
 This is the view to the left of Half Dome.
This is the view to the left of it.
And this is the final view to the left of it, which shows Yosemite Falls in the distance, and the Valley Floor below.  

These views at Glacier required around a 500 yard walk for me, and ride for Marcia.  The ADA pathway, which we took on the way back, was very nice...few people, and lots of information boards telling us about the trees, the valley, etc.  We love that scooter...it brings a new found freedom to Marcia.

Then we decided to go to Hetch Hetchy Valley / Reservoir, which was closer to the motorhome, than to the south to see the Big Trees, which were much further away.  Marcia commented, as we waited to enter the area due to a bus which was coming up from the Valley, "Is this going to be worth it?"  The road is narrow, it is a bit of a drive, and we were worn out.  But we went anyway.

And it was worth it, as the view above shows.  Two more waterfalls, Wapama Falls (the taller, smaller flowing falls to the left) and Tueeulala Falls (smaller but more flow to the right), and the reservoir was a sight to see.  We were both too beat to take the walk to see it all, but what we saw was nice.... The water from this reservoir feeds the thirsty souls in the San Francisco area, and has done this since around 1925.  There are three lakes within this area, and together they hold billions and billions of gallons of water.  Wikipedia says that Hetch Hetchy serves "2.4 million Californians in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties, as well as some communities in the San Joaquin Valley", along with producing electricity for "The City".
 
But seeing a mama bear and a baby bear on the way out really was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day.  Mama quickly got the cub back into the woods (you can see it right behind her, just a black glob in the picture behind her)
But a few feet more of a drive, and a close up through the trees gave us a glimpse of the cub...but we did not stick around long as we did not want to have mama mad at us (and I surly did not want her coming up from behind the car and ripping my arm off as I held the camera out the window!)
 And we also saw many dear...with the above Mule Dears being our best shot.

Oh, how we both love this place...it will not be easy to leave...but it will be on our "Must do again list", that is for sure.  But we have one more day, and we are going to make the best of it.

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