Half Dome in the last century

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
     We certainly have a lot of stress in this new millennium. The rate of change of technology is outstripping our ability to absorb it. We are driven to “upgrade” our gadgets sooner and sooner each year. Gee, my 3-year old laptop is really ancient now. Well, think back to the calmer days of the 20th Century. Life was at a way slower pace. Nothing like a trip to Yosemite in the old Buick to recharge the family. Pop up the tent in David Curry’s Camp and take a nice hike up Half Dome.

     Domer-in-training, Kathy T. of Sacramento sent me these photos of her relatives taken scores ago. They are fading fast, but the memories are fresh. The first one is of her dad, Wilbur, standing on the summit of Half Dome in the late 1930’s.


Click to enlarge

     He is gone now, but Yosemite was a special place to him. She doesn’t know the details about the hike, but he may have went up when the support poles were down.  Kathy’s goal is to recreate that shot with her standing where her dad was. What a great pair of photos that would be. Side by side on the mantle. She got my book and is starting her training with a support group.   Target is June. When I look at the circa 1938 photo, I see that the meadows on the valley floor look larger than similar shots today. We know that the park has allowed trees to grow and you can see the difference.
     The next photo is of Kathy’s aunt Lois and uncle Charlie. This one was taken in 1952 when the couple was on Glacier Point.


Click to enlarge

     I was on that very spot in September watching the Alpen glow on Half Dome at sunset. The ‘50’s were a happy time – fresh out of World War 2 and the baby boom was in full bore. You can bet that the couple scooted down in time to see the Firefall off Glacier Point.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “After all the jacks are in their boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed. You can hear happiness staggering on down the street – Footprints dressed in red.  And the wind whispers ‘Mary’” – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

2 Responses to “Half Dome in the last century”

  1. Sönke Says:

    Most interesting – vintage Half Dome! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the photos and memories.

  2. Dean Says:

    Yes those are terrific images…I think a really interesting project, if not already done, would be gathering a collection of Half Dome hike photos, from ordinary visitors, over the years…would be fun to see how much the trail and the people on it have changed.

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