Yosemite Webcam – new location

I now officially have site envy. Even though we are trying hard to get the money for a new YosemitePark.com site, the budget gods have been looking in other directions. It’s a tough economy to get funding for big projects, but Yosemite Association seems to have pulled it off, and I love the new big … Read more

Biodegradable ‘plastics’ in Yosemite

Keep an eye out if you’re drinking from a disposable ‘plastic’ cup in Yosemite, or get a ‘plastic’ take-out container. The embossed markings on these can be sometimes hard to read, but most of these items aren’t plastic at all. Look for the words, “Made from Plant Products”, which indicate that a container, cup or whatever is biodegradable and compostable. DNC recently blocked orders of plastic items to make sure managers are ordering biodegradable items instead of the (often cheaper) plastic versions. That means that as existing stocks disappear, more and more of these containers will be environmentally friendly instead.

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Silver Ski Race

Today Tom and I volunteered as Gate Keepers for the Silver Ski Race, held annually at Badger Pass. Although I haven’t been around ski racing much, Tom has, and being a spectator at the Eastern Championships was a bunch of fun, so when the Head Coach of Yosemite Ski Team asked if I could help … Read more

No More ‘Freedom’ Water

Water Bottles (taken by shrff14 on Flickr)
Water Bottles (taken by shrff14 on Flickr)

Living in a place like Yosemite, it’s easy to get passionate about protecting the environment. I’m fortunate enough to belong to a team of similar-minded people who get together regularly throughout the year to talk about ways that we can help conserve energy, reduce waste and make our operations more earth-friendly.

The most recent meeting was last Wednesday and I left feeling proud of the progress that we’ve made. Sure, we’re part of a big company, and that means that sometimes (read usually) we run into the red tape and delays that comes with any big company, but there were lots of new things going on that I think we can be proud of.

One of them is that we’re getting rid of imported bottled water in our stores. I mean, really. We have some of the cleanest, sweetest, most pure water coming straight out of our taps, why in the world do we need to ship gallons of water from France?

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Hites Cove Run

California Newt
California Newt
Hiking the first bit of Hites Cove this weekend reminded me of what a wonderful run it is -beautiful rolling terrain, with great views of the S. Fork of the Merced and, of course the wildflowers. Plus, now that it’s daylights savings, there is enough light at the end of the day that it’s possible to really get out and do things after work. Losing that extra hour of sleep goes down easier when you think of the after work activities that open up. So, today, we drove down the hill and went for a jog at Hites Cove.

It. Was. Glorious.

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Wildflowers in Winter

Erik, celebrating the wildflowers
Erik, celebrating the wildflowers
Today’s the first day of Daylight’s Savings, and Tom, in his typically astute fashion, points out that it should be a National Holiday. The rate of accidents increases when the times shift because people have messed up sleep schedules. It would be much safer to have an extra day on the weekend to adapt. Plus, in this case, it gives us more of a chance to celebrate the long evening hours.

We piled a bunch of friends in to the car today and wandered down canyon to take pictures of the wildflowers. It was a gorgeously warm and sunny day, and the poppies, as everyone has been claiming, are out in force already this year. When we stopped at Hites Cove, we also saw huge clusters of blooming Popcorn flowers, Blue Dicks, Gold Fields, Shooting Stars, Baby Blue Eyes… and all the flowers that we don’t know or can’t remember. It’s an amazing display. The lupines aren’t out yet, and I always look forward to the Fairy Lanterns, so I suspect we’ll be taking more trips down there to watch the spring bloom.

When we got back to Yosemite West, it was almost shocking to see the amount of snow that was still there. Being able to drive back and forth between seasons is like getting to travel through time. Turns out, Spring is only about 5 miles from Winter, as the crow flies.

For more pics…

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Winter Bears

Bear Buddies
Bear Buddies
Yosemite’s bears, like most black bears, usually settle down in the winter time and hibernate. (There’s some confusion about the term because different animals hibernate in different ways, but black bears enter a state where they don’t move around, eat, drink, urinate or defecate for many months, and according to the North American Bear Center, leading physiologists have returned to just using the word hibernate, again.) But this year, there are a couple of bears in Yosemite that seem to staying up late to explore winter, (there’s a children’s story in there somewhere) and Tom and I were lucky enough to see them a few weeks ago.

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Not the Usual Yosemite Fare

This is a strange weekend for me. It is filled with activity options that wouldn’t normally occur to me as Things to Do in Yosemite. When I got here 5 years ago, my list was pretty short – climb, hike (to climbs) and backpack (for far away climbs), but the more I’ve lived here the more I get exposed to all of the other things that are going on in Yosemite.

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