Dave saw me off after allowing me to exhaust his supply of Diet Cherry Cokes and Pop Tarts and I drove onward to Yosemite National Park with the intention of trying to get a campsite there as the signs at the entrance to the park in no way indicated any capacity issues. Â The drive to the park was gorgeous, I’d seen many farm areas on my trip so far as well as what I’d seen of PA and NJ but both paled in comparison to the massive fruit, nut, and vegetable production operations of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. Â Passing rows of grape vines at high speed with their layout of geometric perfection was almost dizzying which was amplified by the view from some of the surrounding mountains.
Yosemite seemed unremarkable but I think this was partly my response to the fact that the park receives almost 4 million visitors a year and seemingly everyone of them was in the park today. Â Every clear waterfall and every rapid was swarmed with people taking pictures of their family in front of the spectacle. Â I never understood the attraction of the “family on front of neat thing” picture as they are generally crappy group portraits on top of a crappy site picture. Â In some cases, the families were large enough to completely obfuscate the item in question. Â I’d much rather separate the two and having no traveling companion nor an inclination to have myself pictured I simply used selective framing to avoid the legions of people (of which I was one) milling around sites fashioned over geological time. Â One can do this by avoiding human-scale stuff.
The final straw with the Yosemite Valley was that I actually got phone reception in the park. Â The camping areas had enough coverage that I could have reasonably used my data connection card but I realized that if I could, others could as well. Â I didn’t want to experience that, so went out to the perimeter trail that marked off the area that’d been reset due to a fire. Â I found the view much more interesting than El Capitan.
I should have stopped at another location with a better sense of breadth but noticed that I didn’t want to. Â Photography fatigue is a new phenomenon for me, I wonder if it’ll pass or if it’s something I’ll have to take into account later. Â Leaving the park I searched for a motel with a rate under $40 and drove 150 miles to it. Â Tomorrow will be long.