Well, it happened. After trying for about 4 years, we finally got the timing right and were in Yosemite the morning after a severe snow storm. And let me tell you . . . IT WAS AWESOME!
Snow laden trees, prestine and thick soft snow on the ground, just beautiful and magical. Truly like a winter wonderland. I have been to Yosemite many times and know my way around quite well. This time, the snow made everything look SO different, you can’t help yourself wondering if it is the same park! Such a new perspective on such familiar surroundings, truly an experience to remember!
This is what the roads looked like within the park. There were snow chains or 4 wheel drive restrictions in place. In other words, you were not allowed to drive without chains unless you had a 4 wheel drive vehicle with snow tires. Thankfully, we have the Subaru Forester (an always on, ALL Wheel Drive vehicle) complete with S+M tires. The S+M designation stand for “Snow and Mud”, tires with special tread that enhance the grip when driving in snow and mud. So we were good! No chains. We tried a couple of times to see if we could get the car to slip or slide (when no other cars were around of course) and our car performed perfectly! No problems at all in these conditions, solidifying our faith in the AWD and pretty much confirming the reason why we picked the Forester in the first place.
Driving around the park in these conditions was truly a novel experience, delighting us again and again. Here you can see the sun hitting the top of El Capitan.
Perhaps the most beautiful view of the day, was sunset from the Tunnel View viewing area. A well visited spot that never disappoints. The location has been immortalized by Ansel Adams, who first started photographing Yosemite in the 1920s, travelling on foot with a mule to carry his equipment. Today, the lookout is a stop for every tourbus that visits Yosemite and you will find hords of people staring at the magnificent view of the Yosemite Valley.
This day, the view was even more spectacular than normal. Just the perfect light hitting Half Dome in the distance and El Capitan on the left. Fog roling in due to the dropping temperatures, Bridalveil falls on the right and fresh show on the trees.
It just does not get any better than this!