Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25 - Christmas High

Up relatively early for a walk

down and

up Merced River Canyon between the

mists of the rising

sun and

Indian Flat.

After gift -openings and -shop purchases,

Harriet and I meander off to El

Portal and beyond to the

Arch Rock entrance of

Yosemite where a roughly

two thousand foot elevational change and

granite make for



welcomed in by

El Capitan and

Bridalveil Falls (or "Fall" depending on the map source).

Up Valley, with all the classic sights including Sentinel Rock,

Yosemite Falls, and

Half Dome, to the

never-see-sun-in-winter Curry Ice Rink, past


snowmen, and

Stoneman Meadow unto the

the head of Tenaya Canyon at the Stables and back, with

more views.

Lunch at the


Bar is followed by a stroll around to

the Dining Room (with its Kandinsky-alluding

Maitre'd -- in response to an "abstract" question) and the

Great Hall's

duo pianos,

nookish fireplace, and



and Winter Club Rooms.

After a second brisk Ahwahnee Meadows walk to recollect the car, we reverse course past

El Capitan,

Cathedral Spires and

Rocks, and

Bridalveil to the

El Portal and

Big Oak Flat Roads, with one more

Valley View before the deep snows of

Crane Flat, as the miles unfold parallel to

Tuolumne Canyon and Jawbone Ridge.

At Priest Station, the

elevation and

sun give out, orb and car plummeting opposite the

Old Grade.

Light and slope fade

near the cliffs of



with the multiply-setting-Little-Prince sol finally giving it up

for the evening.