Rain squall over Yosemite Valley from near Old Inspiration Point, Yosemite
Photography encourages us to go to new places, and to be out during the most beautiful times of day when others are asleep or eating dinner. And sometimes – for me anyway – getting to those places can turn into a bit of an adventure.
Last April, on Easter Sunday, Claudia and climbed over 2,000 feet in elevation through rain squalls toward Yosemite’s Old Inspiration Point. We never actually made it there, but we found another good spot nearby, and had a great adventure, as described in my post A Harebrained Idea.
In August, the Rim Fire broke out west of Yosemite. The fire spread rapidly, expanding into Yosemite, and eventually becoming the third-largest fire recorded in California.
I knew this was a big event in the history of Yosemite, so I turned my attention to photographing the fire. During my first attempts I stayed close to the road, as I described in this post. But later Claudia and I made an epic bushwhack to a dome near the Tioga Road, where I captured a panorama of the fire at dusk, shown below.
In my original post about this day I actually didn’t go into much detail about the bushwhack. I’d visited this dome once before, many years ago, to photograph a shapely Jeffrey Pine visible from the road. I remembered it as being a tough hike – only about three miles, roundtrip, but with lots of brush, and clambering over rocks. Yet this seemed like the best place to get a view of the Rim Fire. We decided to go for it, hoping the trip wasn’t as bad as I remembered.