Yonder Yosemite!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | 20 comments


Farhan Zaidi

Majestic, nearly vertical rocky cliffs surrounding a rich green valley, a multitude of waterfalls streaming in from the snow capped peaks, millennia old Giant Sequoia trees unmatched in their stature and girth, clear blue lakes continuously drinking fresh water from the melted ice and nature still untouched by human progress attract thousands of avid rock climbers, hikers, campers and tourists from all around the United States to the Yosemite National Park.
Eastern View of the Yosemite National Park from Glacier Point
Located at 180 miles East of San Francisco, in the Sierra Nevada, this unique blend of unusual rock formations, meadows, cliffs and remarkable waterfalls serves as a haven for lovers of nature.

North Eastern View of Glacier Point

The drive leading to Yosemite Valley is not for the faint-hearted. Narrow meandering roads boasting a downward / upward slope of more than 10 percent that stretches at times to several miles without respite, with thousands of feet-deep trenches on one side appearing to have their jaws open, waiting patiently for a careless driver to satisfy their appetite. To do it justice, those jaws do fascinate an onlooker who has the luxury to stop the car in one of those rare scenic spots.

Nevada Falls

Such stop areas bring reprieve to the people who start feeling that they have loaned their lives in the hands of the driver for too long.

Top of Vernal Falls

The real test, however, still awaits an already nervous passenger who has been too hasty in heaving a sigh of relief. The best scenic vista, namely the Glacier Point reserves for itself the most perilous road. That road is not only narrower, but at places has been partially worn off with the flow of melted ice reaching the base of the mountains creating fissures that can easily topple a vehicle on one side if the driver lacks the necessary skill to maneuver at such a critical point. It seems to be an open invitation to visit the valley, without the aid of the road.

South Eastern View from Glacier Point

Glacier point, however, opens the gates to a different world. A world full of serenity, natural beauty, filled with the sweet regular music of waterfalls falling in the distance and the magnificent Half Dome, visible in the background of summits adorned by snow. The varying textures of rocky cliffs appear different at various times of the day. When the day is bright, the cliffs appear lifeless and gray against the azure sky but as the shades of the twilight get sprinkled on them they appear to wake up. When the darkness falls, the stars twinkle against the dark fabric of space. The silhouettes of the cliffs appear to stand up like mythical gods, protecting those ancient civilizations and their faithful creatures that may have dwelled in the valley. This illusion is caused by the absence of any artificial source of energy present in the Park. Authorities have strived hard to preserve the true nature of this place as it has been from scores of centuries.

Birdveil Fall
Hiking trails offer an even closer look at nature. Though energy sapping and testing physical endurance in the best of athletes they are well worth the effort. Trails are categorized according to the level of difficulty and some of them do require special training before one can surmount their challenge.

Misty Trail leading to Vernal FallsMost of these trails take the hikers close to the head of various waterfalls allowing for even more appreciation. The mist starts becoming dense as one approaches the apex of the fall, the colors of the rainbow appear every now and then, the tiny water droplets suspended in air after striking the rocks from a height of more than a thousand feet make the trail slippery, demanding caution and agility.

Squirrel near Merced River on Misty Trail Squirrels, mountain birds and other animals can be seen close to such bounties of nature singing in their own peculiar note along with the flow of water. A view from the top of the waterfall shows an observer looking downwards, water disappearing at a distance after traversing a tortuous path chiseled by time through the nonchalant rocks.

Misty Trail leading to Vernal Falls A vertical drop of nearly 4000 feet, authored by nature, appears to be done in a pain-staking manner by carving it out in a spherical rock to form one of the most amazing views in Yosemite. The Half-Dome thus formed serves to be the most precious jewel in the crown of the Valley. Its angular edges, the near-horizontal ledge that suddenly ends in a discontinuity, to reveal the extent of the depression is sufficient to make the boldest feel dizzy for a moment. The other half is smoothly rounded to give it the appearance of a primitive monarch's head, writing history in permanent ink to give its grandeur and magnanimity the finishing touches, indefatiguably rising to its true glory to face the golden light of every dusk and dawn.

Half Dome

It is a place to discover one's own love for the nature as the gamut of scenic experience that Yosemite National Park has to offer is extremely rich.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | permalink | 20 comments



Beautiful.......really beautiful.....

By Blogger Born Too Soon, at April 28, 2005 4:46 AM  

Breathtaking pics!!! Brilliant piece of writing! Thankgod you didn't mention that "thrilling" episode in Yosemite or i'd have peed in my pants again :|

By Anonymous Mehmal, at April 28, 2005 8:33 AM  

simply stunning
what i liked in it..is the 1)Professional way of describing the whole valley
2)n when we see the pics we feel as if the person went for the travelogue Especially..not for fun n njoyment of him..indeed an awesome effort
i dont think so i would like to see yosemite now ..feeling is As if i have been there with him
keep on catching stuff like this from ur cam...

By Anonymous cK, at April 28, 2005 10:55 AM  

beautiful yaar just beautiful.. have to head back there....

By Blogger Ardy, at April 28, 2005 8:16 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2005 10:26 AM  

aww these pics r really taken by u its SIMPLY amazing n ASWUM infact em totally outta words... after going through whole article it makes me feel like me mayself hav been there...u have captured
Yosemite through camera eye beautifully gr8 job:)

By Anonymous beni, at April 29, 2005 10:27 AM  

zaidi, no comments!:P well u already know what i think :) The atmosphere, the weather, the colours, uve captured the true essence of that place. captivating and dazzling pictures. and might i add some of them look like they have been painted rather than taken by someone :)

and the article is simply an enchanting piece of writing. ur words themself bring thousand pictures to ones mind.

By Anonymous Lukhan., at April 29, 2005 11:55 AM  

Well, I knew you were a great photographer but hats off on a great piece of writing.

Fantastic. You take the person reading the article to the location and make him feel every moment and world himself (something which is very hard to achieve). Great pictures, they look as if some great artist has painted them on a canvas.

Good work Farhan. I would recommend you to keep on writing.

By Anonymous Samreen, at April 29, 2005 2:16 PM  

beautiful pictures and wonderfully described
makes you feel as if you're right there.
im surprised ck didn't ask you after this to do his personal photoshoot:P

By Anonymous Mehz, at April 29, 2005 4:40 PM  

teeli! amazing! u know that I know that you know that I think they are ansel adams quality, he did his doodles with large format and u did ur magic with EOS (same difference, almost). A fantabulous piece of writing stringing along those archival quality shots, I say specterrific indeed! you should have all the rest of ur work up as well.
-me the admirer(photographically speaking:P) and of course the photographer in crime.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2005 5:00 PM  

teeli! amazing! u know that I know that you know that I think they are ansel adams quality:) he did his doodles with large format and u did ur magic with EOS (same difference, almost). A fantabulous piece of writing stringing along those archival quality shots, I say specterrific indeed! you should have the rest of ur work up as well.
-me the admirer(photographically speaking:P) and of course the photographer in crime.

By Anonymous Marzia, at April 29, 2005 5:01 PM  

Are you sure you don't work for Yosemite National Park? :) Good, nay, great piece of writing and brilliant photography.

I think I'm going to go see Yosemite for myself after reading your account of it.

By Anonymous Habu, at April 29, 2005 6:02 PM  

Anyone willing to sponsor an 18 yr old??? anyone?!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2005 8:43 PM  

btw I am that 18 yr old :D

By Blogger Ranjani, at April 29, 2005 8:46 PM  

Really awesome pictures,looks like paintings.Great job man.

By Anonymous Unknown Anonymous, at April 30, 2005 12:27 AM  

great job! very nicely written and gr8 pics. being a part of the trip during which these pics were take, i wud say that with 'pro' photographers like Farhan, it could at times seem frustrating when they would suddenly stop at a point looking for a great shot and then would take all the time in the world to just capture it perfectly :). But looking at how nicely it is all brought together in this article, i must say its definitely all worth it!

By Anonymous Rehan, at May 01, 2005 9:18 AM  

Very neat indeed. I must say that its very professional. Almost seems like a episode of something like "discover america" from National Geographic :P. You paint quite an interesting picutre. Ibn-e-Batoota will be proud of you ;) The thing that I find special about anything I read is.. the sense of being in the picture.. being in the moment.. without actually being there. If your writing and images actually do that.. you've done a marvelous job. I'd say, do a piece with your pics on "My Space" .. something on Lahore, something on being stuck on a wrinkle in time...!

Best wishes, Mohsin

By Anonymous Mohsin, at May 02, 2005 12:34 AM  

Awesome pics!!! You have managed to capture light in a way that the hills seem to be blushing pink.

By Anonymous Prashant, at May 07, 2005 6:29 AM  

Beautiful Scenery, Amazing Snaps and very well described. Bravo Farhan..u have a writer in u...Looking forward to more Travelogues from u…Cheerios


By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2005 3:16 AM  

Is this real!!!!!
Its so beautiful!!

Really good account farhan :-)

aur pics dikhao and aur bataao :-)

By Blogger Tamanna, at June 01, 2005 9:33 AM  

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