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May 2009

May 24, 2009      Sacramento JAZZ Festival:

Click HERE for slideshow.

May 18 & 19, 2009

Monday morning was the kick off for our long awaited trip to Yosemite.  We hit the road a little before seven and got to the park around ten. 

Since we couldn’t check into the hotel until four we decided to drive up the mountain to Glacier Point.  On the way we passed the most photographed spot in the world, so we pulled into the parking lot and joined the crowd for a couple of snapshots.  We would revisit the vista the next day for a better view.


Our journey continued through the tunnel and on to the lookout. 


On the way I joked that I had ordered some fluffy clouds for my pictures – and the clouds began to roll in. 


We got the aerial view of the valley and Linda pointed out all the hot spots.  She said her family came there every summer for as long as she could remember and as our visit progressed she turned into a very knowledgeable guide. 




I snapped pictures of half dome and the valley until it was time for lunch. 

Then, after a ham and cheese sandwich we started down the mountain.  After a couple of miles Linda pulled over and informed me that we were going to hike to sentinel dome. 

The sign said it was a one mile hike so off we went.  Then we heard a great roar roll through the valley as the sky darkened.  The white fluffy clouds had turned dark and were now full of lightening.  We decided to forego the dome and turned around rather than getting stuck up there in a lightning storm.  Except for a short respite for a snowball fight and a picture on the bridge we made it back to the car in short time.


The Ahwahnee was our next stop.  We were lucky to find parking near the front door and we made it inside just as the clouds opened up. 


At first it was just a gentle rain and I wandered around taking pictures.  Then it really came down and the rain turned into hail.  The hotel staff were amazed at the ferocity of the storm and were all atwitter when the electricity went out (just for a moment). 


Then, just as quickly as it had begun it was over.  We checked in, checked out our room and ventured outside to get our luggage.  Once in our room we were surprised when a “bell boy” showed up with a plate of fresh fruit.  The Ahwahnee offers luxury like we’re not accustomed. 


We took a hike towards Mirror Lake and saw some very wet hikers. 

Then, instead of going back to our room we hiked on to the pizza parlor for supper.  The dining room at the Ahwahnee requires that guests dress up and it looked a little more formal than we wanted to appear.  Pizza was surprisingly good.  Back at the hotel we explored the various lobby and sitting rooms.  I hooked the computer up to the free wi-fi and Linda settled into a plush chair with a book.  Then it was off to bed.



Next morning we ventured to the dining room for breakfast.  The dining room didn’t open until seven so we were one of the first to be seated.  The room reminded us of Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) with the high ceilings and hanging chandlers.  We got a table by the window and managed to get the waiter to snap a picture of us.  Breakfast was delicious. 






After breakfast we unfolded our bicycles from the back of the car and took off down the same trail we had discovered the night before.  Between eight and nine o’clock we saw only three other couples; quite a change from the afternoon crowds.  We rode the couple of mile trail to Mirror Lake and the view was worth the effort.  Our favorite picture is one we call “Smoke and Mirrors”.   After the lake we continued to ride past Happy Isles and then to Yosemite falls.  At the falls we locked the bikes and hiked to the base of the falls.  It was very wet!

We continued to ride bikes around the park until check out time at twelve.  Then, after checking out, we rode to the museum and took a tour of the Indian village.  We also watched the movie “Spirit of Yosemite” – which was nice but nothing that you wouldn’t see on TV.

We loaded up the bikes and headed back to the most photographed spot in the world.  This time, instead of joining the crowd on the platform we hiked up the hill behind the parking lot and discovered some spectacular vistas.  I think I took fifty pictures as the clouds were back and the view was constantly changing as they blew on by.  After our picture taking frenzy we drove to El Capitan for some final pictures before heading home.

I will continue to add pictures to the album as I process them in the computer.  For a slide show of all the pictures click HERE.

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The bottom one is computer "enhanced"

The valley has many moods and as I took pictures things kept changing.  Clouds would roll in, the light would change, the shadows would change; and I would keep taking pictures.  We need a little help choosing which of the pictures of Yosemite Valley is the best one to print (blown up LARGE) to hang in our living room.  Please choose from the following pictures and email us with your suggestions. Each picture has a unique number.






May 9-10, 2009 Arbuckle Mothers Day gathering
The Mothers Day gethering this year was in Arbuckle.  A few of us arrived early on Saturday for lasagna supper.  It was great to visit with Willow and Tim (and Wyatt).  Sunday Josh, Brandee and the kids - Eli and Deloris joined us for brunch on the patio.  Also arriving sunday were David Tracy.  Peter Livingston brought his mom Ruth and they were joined by Bruce and Doris.  Short appearances were put in by Lee rose and Babe Uhuland.

Afterwards we gathered in the living room and were entertained by Doris, David and Janine.  Click HERE for a slide show of the pictures I took - some of which are featured below.  Click (as usual) on any  picture below to see a larger version.

      
    
 


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May 2009
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