Here in this third installment are an assortment of pictures that didn't fit into one of my other categories or would have made said categories bigger than six pictures (an arbitrary and pointless number I made up, which makes me cling to it all the more). Included in this batch is a self portrait! Really! You'll have to follow the jump to see it!
This pretty hillside greeted us every morning on our way into the park. It is covered in lupines (Lupinus spp). There must be five or ten species of lupine (or lupin) in the park; these are probably the Silver or Largeleaf, but it's tough to tell. In any event they are very pretty when they cover a hillside like this and a nice way to start the morning.
A nice way to end the day is with a meal at the Yosemite Lodge in the village in the center of the valley. Great food, and they offer a port flight for dessert so your wife has to drive home. Mmmm, port. Anyway, we ate there, and although it was unpleasantly hot (like most federal buildings the people who actually work there don't control the thermostat, so it was still blowing 80 degrees of heat into the restaurant although it was 77 outside) the food was great. Leaving, we stopped to take a few evening photos of the lower Yosemite falls and Half Dome. This is obviously Half Dome. The light is really fading here, but I steading the camera on a rock and used a five second exposure and this turned out pretty nice.
Fern Spring is a cute little spring just before you get to the turn-off for Bridal Veil Falls on the way in to the park. When you drive by, if there's nobody there, and you stop, a bunch of people will suddenly stop right after you. There's either a crowd, or nobody; I think most people just drive by without stopping unless they assume there's something there to see. What's there is this cute spring. I assume there must be wildlife from time to time but it's quite close to the road and the road is rather busy so I have my doubts. The water is cold but fresh and clean, and it's dark and quiet there. Nice place for a stop.
Wednesday morning it was misty and due to rain so rather than stay in the valley we decided to take a drive. We went south to the Mariposa Grove of sequoias and the Wawona area and took a scenic drive back through Mariposa town (ate at a restaurant there called Savouries, which was so good we made reservations to go back on Saturday; if you go to Mariposa you must eat there). In the morning, though, before the sun broke through the clouds, it was very misty and dreary. As we ascended past Tunnel View and up towards Badger Pass, we went right into the clouds. I think this picture speaks for itself.
Our last day in California we drove from Yosemite back to Oakland and met up with Smittywife's best friend. We then headed over to San Francisco for a couple of hours, a quick driving tour and dinner. I'd love to go back. We drove out to the beach and had this wonderful view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You gotta do that, right? I mean, it IS San Francisco. We also drove up to Coit Tower and I had Smittywife take pictures of the TransAmerica pyramid, which is my own personal favorite landmark in the city. You can tell I was an architecture nerd.
Finally the much-awaited self portrait. This was taken Friday afternoon on our way back into the Valley from Hetch-Hetchy.