The California Spanish explorers encountered a free flowing river coming down from the Sierra into the Central Valley. It fed the growing agricultural needs of the population. They named this river for Mary, “Our Lady of Mercy.” We now call it the Merced . . . the same river that hugs the John Muir Trail as we hike Half Dome.
In the early years of the park the river often flooded. Early settlers, led by Galen Clark, dynamited the glacial moraine at the Valley entrance near El Cap / Bridalveil Fall, lowering the water table. Water was used by the grazing livestock. Closer to Yosemite Falls, the Yosemite C reek was diverted east a bit to power a sawmill that Muir worked at. He even lived in a hut attached to it. Check out this photo of Muir’s “hangnest.” When you stroll near Yosemite Falls, you can see where we think it was located. Water does not flow by there today.
NEWS: A late Friday night fire destroyed a VERY old building in Mariposa. Gone in the blaze are the Mariposa Pizza Factory, Pony Expresso Coffee House & Trading Post, Tracy’s Yarns, Larry’s Coins, Grace Notes Chimes, Mariposa County Arts Council and Windows on the World Bookstore. I’ve blogged about how great the Pony Expresso and the Bookstore were. I know the owners and this is tragic. The cause is not known but smoke was first seen coming out of the attic of the pizza parlor just before 9 pm. The building at Hwy 140 and 5th Ave is made of over 100 year old wood and went up fast. Damage is estimated at over $1M. No one was hurt. Sad, very sad.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You better stop; Look round. Here it comes, here comes your 19th nervous breakdown.” – Rolling Stones
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com