Double Art and Nature Win

A sketch of the Wells Fargo building and jail at the Yosemite History Center.

A double win for me today! I spent most of the morning outside with Yosemite Sierra Artists for a plein air session just down the street in Wawona at the Yosemite History Center. It’s a destination that I have often wanted to spend some time in with a sketchbook, and I’ve been passively following YSA … Read more

Seven (or Eight?) Summits?

“We’ll bivy here, and go for the summit in the morning.” It’s the classic play – calling your parents to see if they have the money to fund your next grand adventure. Fortunately, instead of spending $150K to pursue the canonical Seven Summits – the highest point on each of the seven continents – one … Read more

Yosemite VAMP

Ranger with braid in Tuolumne

Yosemite’s Visitor Access Management Plan (VAMP) continues to jump through the hoops of a formal public comment process. Comments for the most recent round are due today, and I spent some time considering the many options while trying to put my own thoughts into order. As Superintendent Muldoon put it, if it were easy, it … Read more

Obata Weekend

Sketch of people at Superintendent's Bridge

It was a bit of a false start in the morning in terms of connecting with our instructor, but once that minor detail was sorted, we were off to the races. Sarah Sugarman is a Tuolumne Interp ranger in the summer and works for NatureBridge during the winter, and has been living full-time in Yosemite … Read more

25th Anniversary Backpacking Trip

Sketches from my hiking journal

Time flies. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since we tied the knot before family and friends back in Berkeley. We looked so young then. We were so young then. We’ve had a few particularly memorable anniversary adventures since then – like the one where we nearly died on the Diamond in … Read more

2020. Ugh.

First Snow in Wawona

2020 has been a helluva year. We have managed to weather it relatively well, but it’s been anything but smooth. Income from our Yosemite vacation rental took one hit after another. We closed for a major sound-proofing renovation in February, only to have COVID-19 lock everything down just as we were ready to put the … Read more

Ferguson Fire

Meijer Gardens during the Ferguson Fire

The blaze started down by Cedar Lodge on Friday the 13th, downslope of our neighborhood where it has been growing and throwing threatening looks at our home. Today we got the advisory notice and then the pre-evacuation notice. Depending on what the fire does the neighborhood might move to a mandatory evacuation at any time. … Read more

Lady Slipper Treasure Hunt

“Rare in Yosemite, and now confined to hidden sites where plants have not been subjected to detrimental flower gathering.”  – An Illustrated Flora of Yosemite National Park, Stephen J. Botti. These crazy elegant flowers! Searching for them was quite the adventure. We followed the most incredible treasure map, hand-drawn for us by a generous and … Read more