February 25, 2014
On this winter day the weather was so mild and sunny in Yosemite National Park that it seemed more like a spring afternoon. Chris and I were going to hike a trail that is usually good for snowshoeing (except this year): the Rockefeller Grove Trail. We wanted to see the sugar pines and explore the area for future snowshoeing trips.
When we arrived at the trailhead, we were greeted with a “road closed” sign. Even though the fire is out, a very large section is still closed due to the Rim Fire that began last summer. The Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias was nearby, but neither of us felt like hiking that trail. Instead, we drove to the Church Bowl picnic area in the valley.
We sat at a picnic table in the warm sun. Brittle-looking leaves rattled across the ground in the breeze. A squawking raven perched on a nearby table then begged for a tasty morsel of our lunch.
Afterwards, we strolled down the secluded path to a perfect viewpoint of Yosemite Falls. Comfortable in our silence, we sat in the shade on a cold granite bench. Nature’s symphony played out before us: the thundering bass of Yosemite Falls crashing down complimented the high pitched creek that trickled gracefully by. No wonder John Muir built his cabin here. The sights and the sounds are beautiful.
As we left the area, we came upon a bobcat pursued by several enthusiastic shutterbugs. We watched in wonder as it pounced on an unlucky victim, a rodent perhaps or just playing.
I can’t help but wonder what the critters throughout Yosemite are thinking about the mild winter we are experiencing, opposite of the rest of the country. Maybe they’re asking, “Where’s the snow?” The weather forecast for the following day was to be stormy with a chance of two feet of much-needed snow. Weather permitting, next time we’ll bring our snowshoes. But for this trip, we were blessed with another pleasant afternoon in our favorite park.