Looking at the Merced wind its way upstream, past El Capitan and past the Cathedral Rocks, it is not hard to understand why Yosemite is the beloved park of the people. You hear the phrase: loved to death. Yes the countless visitors the park receives each year take their toll, but a century ago it faced a far bigger threat.
It is hard to imagine that at one time this beautiful valley was threatened by a very serious proposal to dam the Merced and make a large reservoir for the use of the San Francisco Bay area.
It was only through the heroic actions of people like John Muir and the infant Sierra Club that Yosemite Valley was spared. Yet, we saw a bumper sticker while driving in the mountains which said: "Sierra Club go hike in hell."
Sad. Very sad. And very ignorant.
Half Dome is such a stunning formation that you cannot help but photograph it from every possible elevation, angle and vantage point. There is nothing wrong with this approach--we purchased a Yosemite coffee table book by famed photographer Galen Rowell and fully one third of the pictures therein are of the Half Dome. It always draws your attention when it is within view.
The first area that I saw of Yosemite National Park was the Merced River and its rapids. There was a lot of snow melt and some rain in the days prior to my arrival at Yosemite. So there was alot of water moving through the river. Boy was the river rough. Here is a picture I took off CA Route 140 by the Arch Rock Entrance.
One of the scenic areas in the park are the views of the Merced River. It is one of the most photographed spots due to its serene location. Its locale can be found on a good map of the park.