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Friday, June 17, 2016

Photo Journal: Yosemite National Park


The president of the United States and his family are flying into my part of the world this evening. They are coming in order to visit Yosemite National Park over the weekend to celebrate the centennial of the Parks Service. I decided to share a few photos--mostly mine I've taken over the years--of Yosemite.

The first family will arrive at Castle Air Base in Merced County, the former Air Force base, which is not that far of a drive from where I live. From there they will go on a whirlwind tour of the park. For security reasons, much of the itinerary is hush-hush. The following images are some of the sites within the park he may see before they jet off to the next park they plan to visit.

If the first family enters by way of Merced on Highway 140, they will travel along the Merced River for much of the way. This river originates high in Yosemite National Park and lends its name to both the county and county seat where I live. This is the spring run-off a few years ago just west of the entrance to the park.

After passing the entry kiosk on Highway 140, any and all vehicles must be able to pass through this rock formation.

If the first family enters the park further south by way of Mariposa Grove on Wawona Road, they will be treated to this view of Bridal Veil Falls and Half Dome from the Tunnel View scenic outlook

Hopefully, if they come this way, the dogwoods may still be in bloom. Most dogwood blossoms I have seen in the past were along Wawona Road and in Yosemite Village itself. This picture was taken in May, so it may already be too late in the year.

If the first family travels Tioga Road leading to Tioga Pass, at one scenic look-out they may be able to see this view of the back of Half Dome.

Hubby and I were on our way home from a hunting trip (he shoots rifles; I shoot cameras) in the Eastern Sierra Nevada in September 2009 when we drove through the mopping up efforts of the Big Meadow fire that affected a large part of the park. The ground was still smouldering and fire trucks and firefighters were still stationed along Tioga Road to keep an eye out for hot spots.

Six years later in 2015, the land is starting to come back. If the first family visits the east part of the park, they may see this region appear something like this.

Here is Half Dome again from Olmstead Point. You cannot believe there is this much granite in the world until you have visited this scenic look-out.

Twist slightly to the left at Olmstead Point, and you will see this.

Tioga Road passes several lakes. Here is Tenaya Lake.

The first family may visit Tuolumne Meadows on the east side of the park. An internet search will help you find images with greener grass. That is what I had hoped to see in May the year this picture was taken. Unfortunately, the meadow still showed the signs of the California drought.

If the first family tours the Yosemite Valley, they may see this view of Lower Yosemite Falls. This was taken in June 2009 before our four year drought in California.

Across from the view above the first family will find the Yosemite church. Throughout the summer, in their assigned time slot, several faiths offer church services to park visitors. My husband and I have had the privilege a few times of assisting in services for our faith in this church.

They may visit Yosemite Village.... 

....and/or the Yosemite Museum

On the eastern edge of Yosemite Valley, if they are up to a one mile hike, the first family may visit Mirror Lake.

One of my favorite places to stop for pictures in all seasons is the Valley View look-out on the north side of the Merced River as we drive towards the 140 park exit. This view of the river and Cathedral Rocks was taken in April 2007, long before our four-year California drought. 

If the first family stops here, they may view several Yosemite landmarks that may be seen from this location. Here they are marked on my photo taken last November.

Here is a better shot of El Capitan.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief photo tour of Yosemite National Park. Although we may not know exactly where in the park the President and his family will visit until it is all over, this may give you an idea where you might find him this weekend--if you are brave or foolish enough to try to get close to him and his entourage.

 Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press. 

In this photo Robyn is standing by her buddy John Muir inside the museum at Yosemite National Park.

Please visit and follow the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.

Please Tweet this blog post:

Join with the first family-PHOTO JOURNAL: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK @ZinaAbbott #FireStarPress


  1. Beautiful photos! I have been wanting to visit there.

  2. You live in a fascinating and beautiful place, Robyn. I enjoyed all your photographs. Wonderful blog.

  3. My husband and I are hoping to go this fall for the first time. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.