Saturday, 11 May 2013

California part 3 - Yosemite in Spring

Yosemite National Park must be one of the most photographed places on earth. I'm not sure if there's a formula for working that out officially, but I'd guess there's about a gazillion photos online of the various waterfalls tumbling over the edges of the valley.I've added some of my efforts underneath.

I camped there for a few days to give my legs a rest from cycling. Well that was the plan, thwarted somewhat by the 15 mile hike I did around the valley. As soon as I arrived the rain and mist rolled in, emptying the park of visitors but leaving little else to do bar housekeeping. I even got a haircut.

I'd been saving the trails for a sunny day, and was rewarded for my patience with the first sunny and clear weather the day before leaving. The weather turned again just after finishing my hike, with an impressive hail storm and show of thunder and lightning. The tent is coping well!

I've never experienced anything quite like that hike. It's hard to imagine such a breathtaking lineup of mountain vistas, and experiencing them is overwhelming. The valley was peaceful and idyllic, when cruising the bike paths it was rare to pass someone without a smile on their face. May is a great time to visit (avoiding weekends); early in the season, so as soon as you get out on the trails you can have this landscape to yourself. I'm hoping the photos do it justice.

Back in the saddle now after an inspiring rest, memories of my hike will stay with me for a long, long time. I met some very cool other touring cyclists in Yosemite Valley and enjoyed a few days' anonymity camped among other outdoorsy people. I saw more touring cyclists there in thee days than in the last month.

Next up-back in the forests for the Giant Siquoa trees, and more wild and awe-inspiring scenery to travel through and photograph.


  1. Amazing pics Alan, glad you're having some time out of the saddle too! xx

  2. Beautifully written and wonderful photos. Hard work for you all this cycling, and it is a pleasure for us to read about it!


  3. I think there is a definite reason the preservation of wilderness advocated by John Muir centred around Yosemite. It's breathtaking, quite literally. You must have had a sublime time. Thanks for taking us with you, in a manner of speaking.

  4. Thanks for the kind words guys - I'd quite like to read some of John Muirs books and journals, from what I can tell he was a bit of an all round dude!