Yosemite National Park – March 1, 2012

The National Weather Service forecast for Yosemite National Park was for 7-11 inches of snow on Wednesday and 3-5 inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning…

 

Since this winter in CA has basically been non-eventful in the snowfall category, I thought I needed to get to Yosemite because it may be the last significant snow for the season…  Clear skies as I left the Bay Area at 330 am Thursday morning…  As I made way through the Central Valley, the clouds in the distance started to turn pink, which typically would make me feel absolutely sick for missing sunrise; however, I kept checking the Yosemite Valley webcam and it showed nothing but fog…  Last time this type of “event” occurred, I was pulled over on Route 120 for “slightly exceeding” the speed limit and received a hefty speeding ticket from a fine CA Highway Patrolman…  He was not impressed with my excuse nor did he particularly care that the fog was rising out of Yosemite Valley!

 

I finally make it to the Yosemite Ranger Station gate and there is a sign that reads “Road Closed No Access to the Valley”…  Most folks might take that as “Road Closed” “Do Not Enter” “Turn Around” “Your Wasting Your Time”?  Of course, I ignore the sign and proceed 15 more miles and approach another sign that reads “Road Closed in 8 miles”…  Again, I proceed thinking that the snow isn’t all that bad (damn National Weather Service forecasting 7-11 inches) and maybe there is a just tree down…  I can wait for a tree to be removed, no big deal?  I finally arrive at the “Road Closed” gate and sure enough it’s closed…  Not just temporarily closed! The road beyond the gate is not plowed at all and it won’t be open for 6 weeks due to construction!

 

After a few choice expletives, I turn around and start heading back…  I need to enter Yosemite Valley via the south entrance (route 140)…  Well, that’s another 2 hours of driving…  I am a complete, utter nervous-neurotic mess since I might be missing an unbelievable fog show by now…  Route 49 down to route 140 just might be the windiest road I have ever been on…  After nearly “smoking” Bambi and two of his friends, the only calming mechanism is some beef jerky at 830 am…

 

I am finally into the park and sure enough there is tons of fog, no sunlight, and no snow?  What happened to the 7-11 and 3-5 inches of snow?  As it turned out, it dumped snow on Wednesday and then rained on Wednesday night, bye bye snow!!!

Well, I decided to try to catch up on some sleep when all of the sudden a guy (Mr. Kenny Calhoun a wonderful photographer http://kennycalhounphotogrpahy.com) pulls into the spot next to me; startles me (much exaggerated) as he is rushing around to get his camera gear out of his car…  I am about 40 minutes into my nap and I cannot imagine that anything worth photographing has magically appeared!  I was definitely wrong, a huge rainbow is now arching across Yosemite Valley… I am now the one rushing to get all of my gear out of the jeep! I have seen my fair share of rainbows within Yosemite Valley, all of which have been in combination with waterfalls… This was the first rainbow I have ever seen arch across the entire valley, magical!

 

Within 2-3 minutes the rainbow is gone…  I then tell the gentlemen “who so rudely woke me up” that I would have never seen the rainbow if it wasn’t for him…  He laughed and said I owe him a drink…  I totally agree…  I wasn’t able to buy him a drink; however, he would be more than welcome to some beef jerky or protein bars?  Well, maybe not the beef jerky!

Just when you think you have seen everything at Yosemite you are treated to something spectacular…  It’s definitely the most magical place I have ever seen and I am so lucky to be able to visit the park whenever I get the itch…

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