Mirror Lake at Yosemite
We just had a wonderful few days in Yosemite and were lucky enough to arrive after a terrible snowstorm so that we could enjoy the snow without really having to deal with it too much. On our arrival there was still a lot of cloud and gloom about which made for some atmospheric views of the valley.Lunchtime Sketch from the Meadow
Day One: There was a lot of ice and snow on the smaller trails so it was hard going in places, especially as my new walking shoes had no grip on the ice. The weather couldn't have been nicer though - glorious sunshine and increasing temperatures, which meant that the snow melted very quickly throughout our visit. We had lunch overlooking the meadow, Washington Column and the Arches. There was water cascading down the rocks all over, and the waterfalls were flowing well. I did this quick sketch as we sat in the sun eating our sandwiches. We hiked over 10 miles the first day.Sketch for watercolor
On Day Two: We had an abortive trip to see the Mariposa Grove - which you can only get into if you arrive early in the morning as they have very little parking (Duh! why even make it a highlight of the park if no-one can go there! That's twice we've tried to see it and been turned away.) In the afternoon we went to Mirror Lake and had lunch. I set up with my paints, did a brushpen sketch first, then went on to the watercolor at the top of this article. I was sat right on the shore and every now and then a warm breeze would blow by from somewhere. I got totally absorbed in the scene in front of me and had no idea of how much time passed. Keith and Steve had decided to hike the Mirror Lake trail as far as the huge rockfall which has now blocked it. They came back with aching limbs, so I'm glad I decided to paint!
I did another quick sketch at Mirror Lake then we went and ate at the Ahwahnee Hotel. This involved another hike, but we were glad we didn't try to drive as the hotel road was being dug up and there was a huge line of cars waiting to go in and out. By the end of the day our old muscles and joints were protesting the miles of walking we'd done.Keith panning for gold
On Day Three: we drove up to Columbia for a little gold prospecting. I've found the perfect way to keep two old guys happy for hours!