Friday, December 12, 2014

I Expected More!

 As you know by now, we had been to the US last month.  My first post was about the Muir Redwood Park in California. We enjoyed the place, a lot.  We had planned to visit Yosemite Park (I was told that this park was famous),  Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.  I didn't know much about Yosemite park but since this was a park, I expected to see animals, birds and many many trees! I hadn't heard of this famous monolith rock, El Capitan! I came to know about it just before getting down from the bus at the Park! Then the guide said that this place was famous for water bodies, water falls, rare species of plants etc.  It is in the wiki link also.  But California is facing severe drought now.  As a result water fall was not there.  But the famous El Capitan rock compensated our interest to a small extent!

El Capitan, the Monolith granite rock at the Yosemite Park.
'El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end. The granite monolith  extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world's favourite challenges for rock climbers and base jumpers.'

 'El Capitan is composed almost entirely of El Capitan Granite, a pale, coarse-grained granite emplaced approximately 100 million years ago. In addition to El Capitan, this granite forms most of the rock features of the western portions of Yosemite Valley.'  It is composed of a most durable granite allowing it to withstand pressures of glaciers and erosion...another link says.  More details can be read here. 

John Muir, a naturalist, who developed Muir Wood park, was responsible for protecting and expanding this park too, stopping the land developers using the area.  Details are in the Wiki link.

Pictures taken of the huge rock from different angles are here:

El Capitan! 'El Capitan, means, 'The Chief, according to the ancient natives who lived here, few centuries back. 

The rocks are covered by clouds!

So much vegetation on the rocks and it had no rains for some years in this area.  It was drizzling a bit, when we reached this place and then stopped!

We noticed water only here.  No water falls were there because of drought, the guide said. 

You can notice the dryness here and mosses on the tree trunks.

After seeing these rocky areas, we had some coffee and sandwiches in the canteen here.  As expected, very very expensive.  I noticed that all the tourist places had very clean rest rooms and when the bust stopped for breakfast or lunch, even though 2-3 bus load of tourists were there, the rest rooms were clean. This is because the people are aware of cleanliness here, even our own people who come here, are different in nature! Hope one day our country also will have clean places like these!

Nothing else was shown here, by the guide.  So, I told my husband that this was waste of time.  But when I see these pictures at home, I changed my mind...even plain rocks look beautiful sometimes! And I noticed a few redwood trees here, which is my favourite tree now!

I forgot to add! We saw this cute squirrel near the canteen.  This looks different than the ones we have here or the ones we saw at the Berkeley University campus. I didn't see any birds though! Drought and the setting in of winter might have been the reason. The guide said that this was the last trip of the season.  Next trip to this place would be in March! Instead of Yosemite park, they would include Dead Sea in the 4 day tour.



Renu said...

Beautiful pictures!whenevr I am abroad, one thing pinches me that our currency has so little value.inspite of so many trips I am not used to it and I am not able to shell out money the way I do in India:)

Sandhya said...

RENU: Thanks for the first comment, Renu!

Yes, because of that when we calculate while buying things over there, we always feel that we are just throwing away our money!

Since we are not familiar with coins, my husband just shows his palm full of coins and the sales girls calculate and take the needed change...I smile and husband glares at me!

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

The sheer height and size of the El Capitan makes it look so awesome.Yosemite is so well preserved and beautiful.All the pictures are breathtaking and captivating! Have only visited Yellowstone in 2012, Next trip must include Yosemite. What animals and birds did you sight there?

BK Chowla, said...

Though I have been to the US,but,never been here.
They way you have expressed,may be next time when in US..
Pictures are lovely

Sandhya said...

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: No animals and birds were there. Please visit in summer. You might see some. Winter was nearing when we went there. Thank you, Ramakrishnan!

BK CHOWLA: Thank you, Chowlaji! Please visit in summer! People go there mostly for climbing the rocks and trekking, it seems. The monolith granite rock is really breathtaking! And seeing vegetation on these rocks is amazing! The water in the river/creek is crystal clear, which is a rare sight for us!

Rama Ananth said...

Beautiful pictures, Sandhya. Unless we earn in dollars we will never be able to stop converting in our mind.
Why this new verification?

Jeevan said...

wow! marvelous rock formation and the cliff was quite impressive... obviously this place must be rocking with waterfalls during rainy seasons.

Breathtaking photos!!

Destination Infinity said...

The photo with the water, even though it's the only one with it, looks very good.

Destination Infinity

Ashwini C N said...

I've heard a lot about the Yosemite park and i've seen some pictures. It looks so beautiful. NIce pictures :-)

Rachna said...

The pictures are amazing. I have lived in the US for a couple of years. I must visit Yosemit the next time I am there.

Krishna/കൃഷ്ണ said...

Beautiful photos


Sandhya said...

RAMA ANANTH: This habit is always in the back of us, Indians' minds, I feel. Once you settle there, we might get used to just dollars and not rupees.

Thank you, Rama!

JEEVAN: It is quite sometime since the waterfall had water, it seems. So, the guide took us only to this area...this is the guide's version!

Thank you, Jeevan!

DESTINATION INFINITY: The water was crystal clear, D.I.

ASHWINI, C.N.: Welcome here, Ashwini and thank you!

RACHNA: Thank you, Rachna. You must know...summer is the best time to visit this place and after this place gets plenty of rains! Otherwise, the place looks very dry even though huge trees are there.

KRISHNA: Thank you, Krishna!

umsreflections said...

WOW...lovely pics Sandhya :)
And you made your set complete with the little squirrel :D

Umamaheswari Anandane said...

It sounds like a very interesting place. The images are lovely!

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

I have provided names of the temples to my gopurams post as caption under each picture !

sm said...

beautiful photos

Rahul Bhatia said...

A lovely description of Yosemite and equally captivating pictures! Thanks for taking me there through this post, Sandhya:)

Sandhya said...

UMS REFLECTIONS: You know me so well, Uma! I have got many pictures of squirrels from different places in the US! thank you!

UMAMAHESHWARI ANANDANE: Thank you, Uma Maheshwari!

RAMAKRISHNAN RAMANATHAN: Thank you, Ramakrishnan! Visited the post!

sm: Thank you, sm!

RAHUL BHATIA: Thank you, Rahulji!

radha said...

I was at Yosemite a year and a half ago and enjoyed seeing the waterfalls there,what a pity that the drought has dried them up.

Shail Mohan said...

I distinctly heard birds and wanted to check, but it was time and my son hurried me. I even saw a couple of them, but couldn't click.
Have you seen the pictures I posted from my visit to Yosemite with my son?
Loved all the pictures. My son has climbed the Half Dome :)

Shail Mohan said...

The rocks covered by clouds is a really awesome picture! When I was there it was so bright and sunny, blue skies and hurtfully bright sunlight!
Here is the link to my post:

Sandhya said...

RADHA: The drought was visible everywhere, Radha! Bad luck for us.

SHAIL MOHAN: Your son climbed the Dome? Great! It was drizzling a bit on the day we visited. But I didn't hear any bird sound. Saw a couple of small birds near the car park. Winter was settling in and that might have been the reason.

Let me check your post now. Thank you, Shail!

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