Hetch Hetchy to main flooded; judge rejects another appeal

The heartbreak of the National Park Service, the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite will continue to flood the great valley. The name is taken from an Indian word for a type of grass in the former valley.

In 1913, President Wilson signed the Raker Act – the only time an outside agency was allowed to encroach in a park. It was, indeed, a “National Park” – but the NPS did not exist – perhaps they could have stopped it.

A judge in the jurisdiction where the dam is, Toulumne (try spelling that blindfolded), ruled that the fat cats in San Francisco need the car-wash water so much, that the Hetch Hetchy will not be drained. Oh how about the nine – yes 9, golf course who need to be regularly watered? Even in the CA drought years…they remain green.   I bet poor people don’t play golf.

Diagram of water flow

The flow out of Hetch Hetchy water to San Francisco

All of the water could be moved downstream to dams built decades after the O’Shaugnessy Dam climbed over 300 feet above it’s base.The group “Restore Hetch Hetchy” tried to get support, but Judge Seibert, said: no-way, Jose. See their website.

Did you know that Lake Eleanor in the park was also built as part of the Raker deal? While the water distribution is amazing – mostly undreground and gravity-fed unfiltered all the way, it’s a heartbreak that the owners of the park – we the people – cannot enjoy this patch of pristine nature.

And the beat goes on. With our US senator adamant about keeping the dam ($3B to tear it down), we have little hope.

So we hike around Hetch Hetchy.  Daydream believers.

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Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Cheer up, sleepy Jean. Oh, what can it mean.
To a daydream believer. –
The Monkees
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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National Park Service honors 16 units with their own Postage Stamp.

The Postal Service has worked with the NPS to develop stamps highlighting the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. Starting June 2, you can get the stamp of your choice.

I’m sorry to say that Yosemite is not one of them. I suppose with all the media coverage of the park with all the anniversaries of its own, the feeling was to spread the love around.  Plus, we have enough crowding. Yosemite was on the 2005 and 2010 quarters. I guess the other “Y” park, Yellowstone needs the PR (?).

Postage stamp

NPS Yellowstone stamp

The parks listed don’t get as much traffic as the big boys. Many are neat. I’ve been to a few of them. I hope to ride a CanAm 3-wheel motorcycle to Carlsbad in two weeks.

READ ABOUT – The Bison kill at Yellowstone

 Here’s the official list: 

Acadia National Park, Arches National Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Everglades National Park, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Haleakalā National Park, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Mount Rainier National Park, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Yellowstone.

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Purple rain, purple rain, I only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain.” RIP Prince
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

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Notes from an April trip to Yosemite

Just back from a 3-day weekend trip to Yosemite. While it has been clear and warm down in San Jose-by-the-sea, we got hit by heavy rain while on the road on Friday.  In fact, as we entered the park on Hwy 120, it got even heavier. Just before the 6500 ft altitude mark, a ranger had set up a CHAINS REQUIRED sign.

Since the alternative would have been an added 2-hours to down to Coulterville, then Mariposa and in via Hwy 140, I asked nicely (kinda begged) and he said since he just put up the sign, if we wanted to go for it, we could – at our risk – with a decent fine if we got stuck. It got slushy at first, then crisp snow hit our undercarriage.  We made it fine after that – but the rain continued. Less than 25 mph.

snowy road

Light snow on Highway 120 inside Yosemite

We stayed at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. We had snow, hail, thunder and rain that night. Saturday was BE YOU TEA FULL. The short jaunt to the Vernal Fall Footbridge was getting crowded by noon. Illilouette Fall was streaming off to the west of the Happy Isles trail.

We had to skip Glacier Point . . . although the road was open for about a week, it closed on Friday. It will continue to be closed for a while as it got 6 inches of snow and storms are heading in.

Majestic Hotel sign

Sad but true

Our group had dinner at the Mountain Room, then Sunday breakfast at the Majestic Hotel. Yes, that’s the name. Get used to it. The Department of Justice and the Patent and Trademark office are suing DNC and the NPS is being sued by Delaware North Company. The time for an out-of-court settlement has long past. This case will come up in Spring 2017.  

Carpe Diem!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Living is easy with eyes closed; misunderstanding all you see. It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works out. It doesn’t matter much to me.” -Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


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