Yosemite - photo by Ashok Khanna

Yosemite – photo by Ashok Khanna

Yosemite: A Reminisce

Visiting Yosemite in late spring/early summer was an annual pilgrimage when I was at Stanford’s graduate school in the 1970s. As doctorates take a long time to finish, at least in my case, I made it many times. As I drove into the park, a sense of serenity would ascend through me, a feeling of coming home. I grew up in the Himalayas, the highest and longest mountain range in the world.

My boarding school was on top of a hill above Darjeeling, about 7,500 feet up. Looking north, the range descended a few thousand feet to a wide valley, and then rose up 28,000 feet to Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, the pendant of the snow-capped pearl necklace around the campus.

As the snow line in the Himalayas starts at about 20,000 feet, the imposing mountains were far away, not up close like El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite, sheer rock-faces rising thousands of feet. The feeling is different, of being in the mountains, not just near them. People who climbed El Capitan and slept on suspended hammocks on the way always astonished me. As for myself, I hiked up to the shoulder of Half Dome, but declined to shimmy up to the very top using the rope for fear of heights!

Hiking trails were endless, some along the rim of hills, where I would anxiously and gingerly walk to the railing and look below into the chasm. Tuolumne Meadows usually still had patches of snow, not comfortable for a long hike, but great for driving through to look at the multi-colored carpet of wildflowers. If, by fluke, my visit was timed right, the waterfalls in full flow and the mist rising where they hit bottom were majestic sights.

BATW’s April Meeting/Press Trip

According to Anna Davies of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, the Bureau’s “staff and partners are thrilled to be your meeting and press trip hosts during April 22-24. We have an exciting weekend planned with lots of activities that are sure to make you want to keep coming back!

“Hard apple cider and wine tasting will kick the weekend off at Indigeny Reserve followed by an evening of live theater. Saturday’s focus will be on ‘living history’ at our two State Historic Parks, Railtown 1897 & Columbia. You’ll enjoy an authentic steam train ride through the foothills giving you the opportunity to check out our beautiful wildflowers! A delicious ‘tea style’ luncheon will be served in Columbia and evening activities will take place at Black Oak Casino Resort. Dinner, gaming, cosmic bowling and live entertainment by the Spazmatics- Nerds that Rock

[will follow].

“Many of you have chosen to stay over on Sunday to experience Pinecrest Lake or Yosemite. We have also partnered with Y.A.R.T.S. (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation Services) for those of you staying in Groveland on Sunday, to provide your transportation into Yosemite Valley. Your final itineraries will be sent out by April 1, and we look forward to meeting you and showing you all of the wonderful attributes that make Tuolumne County the amazing place it is.”

—Ashok Khanna