Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Half Dome

From the Valley
One of the most amazing monoliths in Yosemite is Half Dome. You can see it from almost any location in the Valley and it draws you in. It has a power that you don't realize or can even understand. Adrenalin junkies want to climb it, artists want to to photograph or paint it, and some just want to gaze at it. Even now I think about it and am in awe. And you have to see Half Dome in person, a photo doesn't have the same impact. So what are you waiting for? Get going.

From Mirror Lake

From Glacier Point

From Tunnel View

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Trip to Yosemite

We spent four days in Yosemite this year on vacation. Let me say that this is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. We try to beat the 'summer rush' whenever we travel but I think Yosemite is one of those places that is always full of people (although I am sure not as many as say, July). We drove in from San Francisco and arrived at the park around 6:30 in the evening.

We wanted a more 'rustic' experience so we rented one of the tents in Curry Village. They were cheaper too : ) and included b'fast at the dining facility each day. We stayed in unit 716. The tent had a padlock on the door to lock up when we left. We had a double bed, a mirror, and a book case. Oh, and a bare bulb for light. We had to use public restrooms and showers.

We froze the first night. The temperature was in the 40's. We knew it would be cold and we brought flannel pj's, but they were not enough. The next day, we took a swing by the front desk and got some more blankets. We were fine after that.

This is what Tent City looks like from our front step. I did not think to take a snap of the food protection safe. Those green boxes in front of each tent are used for your food and anything that smells nice. You know toothpaste, shampoo. Anything that attracts the bears. You are not supposed to leave any food in you vehicles or tents.

The food in the dining hall was fine for b'fast. It was an all you can eat buffet. The dining hall is also open for lunch an dinner, but if you are not interested in buffet food, there is a deli, a couple of pizza places, and a general store where you can buy groceries.

If you're interested in parking your car for the duration of your trip or if you arrive via another mode of transportation, Yosemite provides shuttle service to most areas/attractions in the valley. They use a hybrid shuttle and it's a comfortable way to get around the park.

In Yosemite Village, you will find another general store, a recycling center, an employment office, a fire department, a garage, the Ansel Adams Gallery, the visitor center, and post office.

Village Store

Visitor Center

Ansel Adams Gallery

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Official Trip Foto

A week ago today, I returned from a terrific week in Cali. We spent 4 days in Yosemite and 3 days in San Francisco. It has become a tradition to take a trip Foot Foto. This is Half Dome from Glacier Point.

I think the flip flops add the Cali attitude. Don't you agree? If truth be told, I had to take my boots off. I couldn't take one more step in them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

California Wildflowers

I have always loved taking photos of flowers so vacations provide opportunities to photograph flowers that I would not normally see. I especially love wildflowers. I am currently on a quest to identify each of these blooms. Numbering left to right, top to bottom (1)Unidentified (2)Unidentified (3)Unidentified (4)Unidentified (5)Unidentified (6)Unidentified (7)Unidentified (8)Red Ribbons (9)Snow Plant If you know the common name of any of these blooms, leave a comment. You can click the photo to enlarge and get a better look.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I Do

While on my journey thru the past, we made a run by the small church were my parents were married in June 1957. Only the center portion of the structure is original. Not sure when the additions were added. Location: 15th Street, Anoka, Minnesota.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Eared Coreopsis

At least I think this is what they are. I found this really great resource for Alabama Wildflowers. Now when I take photos I can look them up : ).

While I was driving home from work on Friday, there was a field full of these beautiful little flowers. I told myself that I would go back over the weekend and get some shots. I actually got myself out of bed early on Saturday to catch the morning light. TOM came with me as 'my assistant'. Got a few honks too. I never really understand why people honk. Are they shutterbugs too saying 'hi'? Anyhoo, it always startles me.

When I finshed, we headed to Home Depot for supplies for today's project.

Friday, May 01, 2009

You Can Survive Junior High

As I sit here waiting for TOM to get home from a week on the road, I decided I would revisit junior high, that's what we called it in the '70's, now they call it middle school. Anyway, I went to Fred Moore Junior High in Anoka, MN. Prior to that is was the high school from which my mom graduated in the '50's. It looks the same except for the electric sign out front. Hans Bakery is still open next door. Unfortunately, Hans is the reason for my first diet. My father still goes there every morning for a cup of coffee and a donut before work .

The Tornadoes still play football in the stadium out back. The home team fans still sit on the right side of the field as you enter the gate. Looks like it might even have a fresh coat of paint. I played flute in the marching band, but for some reason when I hit high school, I did not pursue a position in the football band. I guess it was because I was dating and working by that time. At one point, I really coveted that letter jacket. I so remember the cool, often cold, Friday nights at the game. There to see friends more than watch football. Pizza and beer after (or maybe a field kegger to go to), oh that was when I was in High School.

The building was dated even then. There was no air conditioning, no elevator, no pool. We did have windows (the new high school looked like a prison). I remember trudging up the stairs to class on the third floor carrying at least 15 pounds of books because we didn't have time to run to our lockers between classes (so why did I need to diet)? Book bags, on wheels...I don't think so. Kids today don't know how great they have it. This is my version of having to walk 5 miles to school in the 3 feet of snow :)

The last time I was at this school, before taking these photos, was my graduation from high school in 1977. I marched off that field and never looked back.