Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
In follow up to yesterday’s tome about walking to Yosemite, I’d like to introduce you to Donna and Peter Thomas.
They are an interesting Santa Cruz based couple. They are literary artists in the olde tyme sense of the word. They’ve written a few books including Half Dome – A Climbing History, a $100 collectible printed on paper hand made by Peter. Like their other books, this was done on his hand set letterpress. The 130 page work has wood covers. Only 130 copies were made. This is cool by itself, but even more fascinating was their April 2 – May 14, 2006 walk to Yosemite. They did a lot of research trying to replicate John Muir’s 1868 route. A major problem was that Muir wrote little about his route and tended to talk more about the flora along the way than landmarks. Plus the terrain was way different 150 years ago. The Thomas’s spent hours at the University of the Pacific – Stockton reading relevant documents and maps. Muir generally kept a diary log of his life, but again little is known about his trek to Yosemite. They pieced together references to the hike found in many letters and books (some written after Muir’s death) to capture the essence of his trip. Basically, the route goes down into the Santa Clara Valley, goes east at Gilroy and over the Pacheco Pass (Hwy 152). From there into the Central Valley towards Gustine then along the Merced to Lake McClure and onto the Coulterville Road, past Bower Cave and to Crane Flat and Tamarack Flat then behind El Capitan into the Valley. Remember, John Muir’s goal was to get out of San Francisco and go to “Anywhere that is wild.” Due to space limitations on this blog, I need to send you to the Thomas’s excellent website <HERE>. I’ve never met them but will send them this blog link and see if we can meet for lunch on the Santa Cruz pier to ruminate about the trip and their interesting lives.
PS – Gang, I saw Avatar today in 3D (be careful there is a 2D version) – 5 stars. A mix of The Matrix and Star Wars.
Related thought worth quoting: “Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.” – John Muir, 1912
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com