Friday, October 14, 2016

Interesting Sights in and Around Yosemite

While in Yosemite we took a drive up Big Oak Flat Road.  The country is different over there.  Right after you pass the turn to Foresta, there a a trail head for the Big Oak Flat Trail.  It's across the road from the parking lot.  It goes up immediately, showing you this view.  There have been fires there.

I know I'm in the minority, but this landscape is better for me than one that is heavily treed.  Yes!  It's heresy, I am not a forest person.

 There are still a lot of blackened dead trees, but there is also new growth, as well.

There is this view, about 20 minutes in to the hike.  That's El Capitan on the left, and Half Dome is also visible.  You'll have to trust me on Half Dome, it was still pretty hazy.  The best part, however, is that we were the only humans on the trail.

As you head back to the parking lot, there is this sign, apparently urging the park visitors to look both ways.

We stayed in Midpines.  It's about a 30 minute drive to the park gate along Hwy 140.  This happened in 2006.   The rock slide buried the road and kept it closed until 2008. There is a project timeline here.

This is looking across the river driving along Hwy 140.  It's an old railroad bed, formerly used by the Yosemite Valley Railroad.  Caltrans put in two temporary bridges and used the old rail bed as a single lane detour around the slide area.  Traffic alternates directions and is controlled with stop lights at either end.  Due to the detour, no vehicles over 45 feet can go through.

If you look closely you can see a bunch of cable drapery in place to control further slides.  There are ledges at the top of the photo where there were people working, doing something.  On the far left you can see a bunch of drapery that has been dragged down the hill side, presumably by falling rocks.

On the way back, we watched this Hughes 500 helicopter working in the construction zone.  He picked up one white bag, and then another from the top of the hill.  He then moved himself away from the side of the valley and brought the bags down to the level of the road.  The pilot had a good hand on the helicopter.  He was smooth, the bags didn't oscillate and it was impressive to watch.

Anyway, it's called the Ferguson Project.  The plan is to stabilize the bank with the cable drapery to prevent further slides.  Then they will remove all of the talus currently on the road.  Finally they will build a 750 foot long rock shed to protect the road from future falling rocks.  This is expected to complete in 2020.   This project is going to cost the earth.  If I were dictator of the world, I might consider calling it good as is.

This is an abandoned house on the other side of the river.  It looks forlorn.

1 comment:

  1. I like both dense forests and open views. I find it fascinating to watch a forest return after a fire and definitely appreciate the views a fire opens up.