Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy PFF: Yosemite National Park

Thank you to our hostess Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.  Today we are visiting the magnificent Yosemite National Park in California.
Giving credit where credit is due:
The back of this card says: "Works Progress Administration (WPA) circa 1939, Artist Unknown. Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived. The National Park image shown here is also available in the original poster format from many National Park bookstores." Published by Ranger Doug Enterprises, Seattle, WA.

It's hard to believe that the first tourists arrived in the early 1860's to the "Incomparable Valley."  Environmental degradation soon followed.  According to the park website, "Parts of the landscape were exploited, spurring conservationists to appeal for protections. President Abraham Lincoln signed an 1864 bill granting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the State of California. John Muir helped spark the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890."  As long ago as Lincoln!  I did not know that.

The image on our postcard this week is of one of the magnificent domes, made from glacial action and erosional action on the granite (actually granodiorite, technically) bedrock.  The most famous is Half-Dome.  Another is El Capitan.  I believe the view on this postcard is El Capitan.

The hard way up Half-Dome is technical rock climbing up the sheer northwest rock cliff.  The 'easy' way is a hike through the woods  to the base of the east side (the back side so to speak) and then onto the rock itself with a total elevation gain of 4800 feet (1460 m).  According to Wikipedia, the last 400 feet of  nearly vertical climbing is up the rock between two steel cables used as handholds, raised on a series of metal poles.  The cables are attached to the rock but the poles are not.  Look at that photo of Half Dome in profile!  No matter where you put the trail it's going to be tough, as you can see in the photo of people on the Cable trail (Pictures from Wikipedia). 
Even with all this there can be crowds and up to 1000 people a day have hiked this trail.  therefore, permits are now required to hike this trail on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays when the cables are up (usually Memorial Day through Columbus Day).  See the National Park webpage for more information.
There is so much more to say about this park - the waterfalls, the geology, the ecology, the history... but I have a vacation to plan for and a thunderstorm is coming on.  I'll be away on Friday so I won't be able to comment on your postings.  Beth will link in this post for me - thank you dear Beth!!!

And don't forget - if you like these postcards, please do enter my contest, in honor of post #99 for this blog.  The prize to the lucky winner is my set  of 10 unused WPA poster postcards, mailed to you - anywhere in the world!
Just comment on this post.  Do so by June 29 at 6 PM Eastern USA time.
Viridian

1 comment:

Jhon smith said...

Yosemite national park is really a great place to visit .
Yosemite National Park usa .

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