Yosemite National Park, November 5, 2005

    Today is our 17th wedding anniversary and Lisa arranged for a weekend away, just the two of us.  Her idea to visit Yosemite and me being a big fan of Yosemite, how could I refuse.  We drove up Tioga Road and it was strange.  All the signs were taken down for the season.  It was a little disorientating but also nice.  The miles and the scenery could be soaked up without distraction.  We would know when to stop.  I wanted to see Olmsted Point.  Major construction improvements were going on and I have never stopped to look out from this viewpoint just off the road.  We stopped at Olmsted for a quick look but drove on to Tenaya Lake.  We had a lakeside lunch and headed for Lembert Dome.  The amount of traffic and the number of visitors was very low all day.  There seemed to be a very calm, quiet and peaceful atmosphere descending like a soft blanket onto the entire area.  The quiet of the winter season was very nice even though the day was sunny and warm.  There was blue sky, just a slight cool breeze and some light clouds later in the day as you can see in the following photos.
    Click on the thumbnails for a larger, full color image.
Tree and rock at Olmsted Point

Pine and cones

Tenaya Lake shines blue and had the clearest water

Mount Hoffman as viewed from Tenaya Lake

After a short hike on the Dog Lake trail we take the spur trail to Lembert Dome's summit.  Lembert is a small dome and I hiked up the south side once before a long time ago.  The south route is steep and direct,  a hiking trail takes you to the east and is longer.  This photo shows the view of Toulemne Meadows as seen from the top of Lembert Dome

Self portrait at the top of Lembert Dome looking east toward 13,000 foot Mount Dana.  The first dusting of snow is visible.

Another self portrait

Back to Olmsted Point for the sunset.

This is a popular spot for photographers because of the ease of access.  I guess I never stopped to look because of the crowds.  Today it was mostly deserted.  Here is Half Dome from the other side.

The light was fading fast and I was in a frenzy of photo taking.  Here is one looking east.

Clouds Rest is on the left and Half Dome is on the right.  Clouds Rest is higher than Half Dome and it's north face slopes smoothly and dramatically down to Tenaya Canyon.

And one panoramic to end the day.

It was a lot of driving but the the scenery is well worth it to me.  Hiking at high altitude is very uncomfortable.  Getting to the top of Lembert Dome and lunch on the lake were tremedous bonuses though.  Spending quality time with Lisa was priceless.  Time to drive to the valley and check in and dinner awaits us somewhere.