On Saturday, August 31st, the winds came from the north, bringing the smoke from the Rim Fire into Yosemite. It was an eerie day, with ash settling down on the park everywhere we went on our tour. Even though the visibility wasn’t what we’d hoped, we had a great tour with close up encounters with Wildcat Waterfall and a big buck mule deer in Yosemite Valley.
We also had a treat with a riding exhibition at Swinging Bridge Beach by some local horsemen who gave their horses a workout on the beach.
At Glacier Point, we found very poor viewing, in contrast to our usual experiences. The picture of the sign at the Geology Hut depicts the spectacular view usually visible from that point. It was certainly a disappointment that we could not see even the faintest view of the peaks, waterfalls, and other features usually visible from there.
To compensate our guests for the smoke, we took them to the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees. While the smoke obscured the sky, and the sun took on a reddish glow, we still had a lovely experience walking among the Giant Sequoias.
Since then, the smoke has cleared from Yosemite, the fire is, as of 6:00 am Wednesday September 4th, 80% contained, and the exquisite viewing, to which we are so accustomed, has returned to Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.