Friday, May 29, 2009

Yosemite's Mirror Lake

(click to enlarge)

First trip to Yosemite. I looked at all my options and settled for focusing on Mirror Lake. That meant having to end up there at sunset for good light. Thunder storms came and went, clouds covered the sky, then the sun would shine etc etc... Mild rain came back during the trail to the lake. Knowing that it could get dramatically worse in a matter of minutes, I came up with a plan to stake out possible shelters along the way. Sure enough half ways to the lake the rain came in harder. Following the plan we retreated back to a small utility wooden cabin, with an even smaller porch like cover. The rain came harder and harder and so did the thunder. We waited for almost 20 mins. The rain slowed down and we decided to continue. Meanwhile we are still looking out for more potential shelters just incase the harder rain returned. The shelter look out included anything from under a large rock to just the side of the mountain. The rain slowly diminished as we got to our destination. Flat ugly white clouds cover the sky and large droplets of rain water from the trees hit the lake surface making it not so mirror-y. The sun was relatively high still so I decided to wait. I waited and waited. The clouds started clearing out and the sun came down as the day went on. Finally like magic, the clouds mostly cleared and the lake surface was calm. By then the sun was low enough and an unexpected mist was rising behind the trees. At last I could shot some images.

Bonus: The trail had only a few people on it to begin with. We stayed late for the picture, so people that were there had left already. We walked the trail back to the road in mid light. We get to the end to wait for the bus/shuttle. There we find this one lady that was at the lake earlier. She was alone and with a frightened/exited look on her face she speaks in her european accent. "I just saw a bear!". No one else there but us, a lonely road and the darkness of the day falling. She goes on to explain on how she saw a black bear just off the trail. Braving her fear she reached for her camera, but the bear approached. The black bear walked on to the trail and stood just 8 ft away according to her. She stood motionless and in a few seconds the bear headed back. A large size animal according to her calculations. She raised her hand well above her head and said "this big".

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