Archive for July, 2009

Drowned woman’s body found

July 31, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

katrin lehmann
If you follow the news, you may recall that a 31-year old German woman, Katrin Lehmann, fell into the Merced near  the Vernal Fall footbridge.  As you can imagine, the spring snow melt and heavy rain that day produced Class V rapids. Class V in river jargon means “the worst.” On July 15th, her  body was recovered below Vernal Falls by YOSAR personnel. She fell from the Mist Trail into the river. Witnesses said that she fell off the trail, slid down a steep wet rock wall, then clung to a boulder in the river before being washed downstream by the strong current. Her body was found wedged between a rock and a log in a swift water section of river approximately 150 yards downstream from the point where she was last seen. Rescue dogs helped find her.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “She comes down from Yellow Mountain on a dark, flat land she rides on a pony she named Wildfire. With a whirlwind by her side, on a cold Nebraska night.” – America

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

Xmas in July? Bracebridge Dinner

July 30, 2009

Half  Dome – Yosemite Musings


Gee ,does Costco have their Xmas stuff out for sale yet? Well, the park is already promoting the annual Bracebridge dinner at the Ahwahnee over the Christmas holidays. This is the 18th Century flavored event that always sells out. Dates from mid-December through Christmas are scheduled . Ticket packages include lodging at the Ahwahnee, the Yosemite Lodge or the Wawona Hotel. There are also dinner only tickets if you have another place to stay. I have to warn you this is a “pricey” event. And I mean real pricey. Close to a grand for lodging and dinner.  The 2009 Bracebridge Dinners will be held on December 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 25 at 6:00 pm. For more info click <here>.  This sells out every year. Come on guys, treat the little lady!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “You know I can be found, sitting home all alone. If you can’t come around, At least please telephone. Don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true.” – Elvis Presley
*Mr.Half Dome-Rick

Half Dome Mural

July 28, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

A few Central Valley towns are choosing Mural Art to spruce up their buildings. Lovely Lodi now has 11 murals that depict California life. The goal there is to have 30 murals created by local artists. Just down Highway 99 a bit in Manteca, the Convention and Visitors Bureau is pushing their project. They hope to have 40. If you are in town, find the Century Furniture Store at the corner of Main and Yosemite streets. A huge mural shows the town as it looked in 1918. If you take the Mural Tour, you will be rewarded with this one of Half Dome

Mural Half Dome
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.” – 18th Century nursery rhyme.
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –


July 26, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

In case you were wondering . . . Yosemite got $26.5M from Congress in 2008 as their official budget. This was enhanced greatly by the Yosemite Fund and other sources. They actually run the park on over $60M. The Yosemite NPS has 953 employees in summer and 702 in winter. The park concessionaire, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, adds another 1,800 in summer and in 1,100 winter. Wonder how many folks tromp through the wilderness? There were 43,000 hikers in 2007. 15,000 Wilderness permits were issued in 2007. Finally, there were 112,000 overnight stays in 2007. A reflection – if a permit system were set up for the current load 50,000 annual Half Dome hikers, you can imagine the staff that would be needed to manage it. I have heard in the woods that the park might go to a self-permitting system for wilderness permits. Yeah, right. Just like the people who register with the FCC when they buy a GMRS 2-way radio.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “And when I see the sign that points one way. The lot we used to pass by every day. Just walk away Renee, you won’t see me follow you back home. The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same. You’re not to blame.” – The Left Bank

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

Glacier Point

July 25, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
For my money, one of the best viewpoints in the world is from the top of Glacier Point. The Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Canyon and all the park high points are visible from here. Yes, El Capitan is present, but the cream is Half Dome. From this perspective you can clearly see that only about 20% of it is missing. It was not cut apart by Glaciers – rather the face was created by eons of exfoliation. This is the freezing and expansion of rain in its granite cracks that eventually let go in vertical sheets. The pedestrian lookout is visited by about a million people each year. It gets a lot of abuse. The glorified outhouses seem to always reek. A fire in July of 1969 laid waste to a lot of it. Two nice hotels were burned to the ground. McCauley’s Mountain House and the Glacier Point Hotel (below)  were both turned into ash piles.  They were built in 1872 and 1917 respectively.

 McCauley Mountain House

McCauley Mountain House

Glacier Point Hotel

Glacier Point Hotel

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.” – John Muir
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

Outdoor Retailer show

July 25, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Every year at this time a major event takes place in Salt Lake City. It’s the Outdoor Retailer show. Open only to industry buyers and manufacturers, this is the event that jams every inch of the Salt Palace with new offerings for folks like us. It runs 3 days and is winding down. Anybody that has any product for camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing etc. etc. has a booth. This is not a look-see party. Buyers are there to place orders for spring delivery of some of the products we will gush over in 2010. (A Winter focused show takes place in January for snow and cold toys.  I bet your local store sent reps.)  The event is kicked off with a huge kayak demo day at a local lake.  All the latest innovative craft are available for a try out. Like auto, electronics and computer shows, it is an ordeal to see all the companies in 3 days. Here’s  a link to the OR website <HERE>.  I’ll try to share info on new products coming out. Here’s one from Gregory – the pack people.gregory pack 1Look for this new ventilated pack. It has a curved inner support that keeps the pack off your back instead of just a mesh liner. The new Jetstream LTS back system uses a curved plate and alloy frame which combined with strategically-placed pads, creates an air gap between pack and back.gregory pack 2In support of the Carpe Diem lifestyle, I’ll be riding a Harley in South Dakota for the next week. I should have time at night to continue the blog, but be patient if I fall behind.

Heads up:  The San Jose Museum of Art will exhibit photographs by Ansel Adams, from Saturday, August 29, 2009 through Sunday, February 28, 2010.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Rescue me, oh take me in your arms. Rescue me – I want your tender charms. ‘Cuz I’m lonely and I’m blue. I need you and your love too. Come on and rescue me.” – Aretha Franklin
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

USGS markers

July 24, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Last month we talked about the round markers that the US Geological Survey places on high peaks. This one is on top of Cloud’s Rest.

USGS Cloud's Rest

I asked yall to look around on top of Half Dome for one. I’ve never seen one. Below is what I bought at the gift shop. At first blush, it looks legit,but closer examinations reveals it’s probably just a “paper weight.” I’ve never seen one on Half Dome. But why not? Seems like it should have one. Let me know if you run into it. The coordinates on it read: N37 44 46  W119 31 55.   Bring your GPS and do some scouting.

USGS Half Dome

Unrelated thought worth quoting:  “Mock (yeah) ing (yeah) bird (yeah) Yeah, yeah. Mockingbird everybody, have you heard? He’s gonna buy me a Mockingbird. If that Mockingbird don’t sing, he’s gonna buy me a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring don’t shine, he’s gonna surely, break this heart of mine.” – Inez  & Charlie Foxx

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

Sign Grammar

July 23, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Simple rule: If a waterfall cascades down to the bottom, it is called  “Falls.” (plural) As in Yosemite Falls. If the water drops straight down unimpeded, it is singular: “Fall.” As in Vernal Fall. Really. The park is generally pretty good about the distinction. I admit it’s extreme trivia, but now it grates me to see it messed up – especially by the park. As you trundle up the John Muir Trail out of Happy Isles on your way to Half Dome, you are greeted with a mileage sign.  This photo of the sign was taken in the 1960’s and has it correct.

sign 3 old

The next photo was taken last year.  This sign has been up for a very long time … I’d say since the 1980’s. Note the typo that the carpenter made when he whittled it.  FALLS.sign 2This photo of the same sign was taken a month ago. Note that someone (wonder who) did a correction via red tape. I bet some do-gooder already took it off. Sigh. Sign 1 corrected
Unrelated thought worth quoting:  “Hey, tonight, gonna be tonight. Don’t you know I’m flyin’, tonight, tonight. Hey, c’mon. Gonna chase tomorrow, tonight, tonight.” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –


July 22, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

A good place to find rainbows at Yosemite is at Hetch Hetchy. If you get there sometime in the morning, you can pretty wll count on seeing  a nice one from the dam looking west as the water shoots out of the face. This photo was taken at about 10 am. Later I even got a faint double rainbow. Not good enough to post, but this one looks great.  Enjoy!



Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Sunshine almost always makes me high.” –  John Denver

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

This and that

July 21, 2009

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
On Sunday I spoke at the BassPro store in Manteca. Attending from Modesto was blog reader and Half Dome alumni, Steve. He has done the hike 47 times since 2005. I can only believe him on his word. You can do the math. I told him he needs to take up a hobby. And I thought I was obsessed. He says he does not stay at the park. Modesto is about 2 hours drive from the trailhead. He navigates the windy roads after the strenuous hike. A tip of the hat goes out from Mr. Half Dome!

Need a close place to stay near the park? A little secret is Foresta. As you drive down 120 towards the big 140 junction, off to your right is the Big Meadow… Foresta lies just beyond the trees. It is about 5 miles down from Crane Flat and is at 4,200′. This is a tad  higher than Yosemite Valley and due to its location has afternoon cooling winds. Foresta is a small community of private homes and is located inside the entrance gates of Yosemite National Park. It is totally surrounded by Yosemite with 50 homes sitting on property owned by individuals. I believe they were grandfathered in when the negotiations took place when the Feds took control of the Valley and surroundings. A huge wildfire swept through Foresta in 1990 and burned down a few dozen homes. Today you can rent a cabin or home. There are no motels type accommodations – it’s perfect for a family or two. At only 7 miles from the valley, this is a good alternative to the SOLD OUT sites in the park. Click <HERE>for more info.


Work is underway on the new Half Dome pullout on 120.You won’t be able to stop here for a few months. Target for completion is this fall.

Has anyone tried the wifi at the Curry Village lounge/reading room?
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Go on and write me up for 125. Post my face, wanted dead or alive. Take my license n’ all that jive
I can’t drive 55!”
  – Sammy Hagar
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –