North Dome July

As was intensely reading the latest edition of Backpacker magazine, I came across the Calendar section that highlights the upcoming month activities for your edition's geographic area. And there was a trip that the doctor ordered. Late June in Yosemite to photograph Half Dome with a full moon rise. Perfect warm up hike of 4+ miles to get the backpacking season off to a great start. And to seal the deal, it was lead by a leading outdoor photographer who lives in the Sierra foothills and has done some fantastic work. So I signed up and started to sort my gear and look forward to another a trip in my favorite National Park. Only the Emigrant Wilderness is closer to my outdoor soul with Yellowstone and Glacier parks not far behind.

We had a nice group of 13 fellow backpackers/photographers, the weather was at its peak and the scenery, as always, did not disappoint. The camp site had an in-your-face view of Half Dome and I pitched my tent so that it faced this vertical masterpiece. The one caveat of camping here is that it is a dry site, so you need to tanker in from a stream about 1.5 miles prior and catch a fill up from a spring/stream about half way between North and Basket Dome right above the tree line to your left as you face Basket Dome. Now on to some pictures and more tales...

Legends & Moon Rise

There are many legends that are an integral part of the history of Yosemite and we were standing on and facing the results of one, Tis-Se'-Yak. If you click on the prior link you will see that the gods had looked down in anger on an Indian warrior beating wife and turned them into stone forming Basket, North and Half (South) Domes. That must have been a powerful incentive to respect your spouse that the Chiefs would weave into their knowledge and teachings.

The routine was to be done with dinner by 6PM and move on to North Dome to set up for the coming sunset and moon rise. John would give talks on various aspects of landscape photography and was available to help you individually if needed. He had a keen ability to be able to talk photo on a beginner thru advanced level and answer all your questions, whether they were photography or features of the landscape. I will let the pictures do the talking from here on...

Lembert Dome September

With the cool nights of September and the crowds of summer gone, Tuolumne Meadows reverts to a quiet splendor, especially after the lodge and store close. This is a time to revel in the approach of the winter season, and grab the last days before the road closes down.

After a bit of confusion on my part about the exact location of our meeting site, I hooked up with John and off we went up the back end of Lembert Dome.   It was as I had envisioned, very peaceful with an added bonus of being the only ones on the dome.   John provided his photographic expertise and helped me notch a few more points of knowledge into my fleeting memory.   The surprise of the trip was shooting a rather large erratic boulder with Mt Dana in the background that came out to my liking. Enjoy some of the images below.

May our paths and errands meet...