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Tahoe Nugget #35:

Yosemite Half Dome under Stars

It's been a slow week weather-wise here in Tahoe and I've been busy preparing my Donner Party weather analysis presentation for the Historical Archaeology Society's national conference. Completed the research and Power Point program today and will present it this Saturday in Sacramento. Current thinking is that I may publish a short book on the topic later this summer. The year 2006-07 is a major anniversary for this 1846-47 event.

Decided to dig into the archives and pulled out this image from Yosemite Valley. It's one of my favorites. I arrived in Yosemite Valley in early September 1977 at age 20 with ten bucks in my pocket. The valley (and all of California) was in the final throes of one of the worst droughts on record. Although the dry spell had only lasted two years, reservoirs throughout the state were seriously depleted. I remember that out of the many waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, only Illilouette Falls still had a trickle spilling over its 350-foot vertical rock face.

This photograph of Half Dome was taken from Inspiration Point at 10:30 p.m. in late October 1977. A weak inversion was setting in that evening and clouds were beginning to form in the lower atmosphere. Note the short star streaks from the time-lapse exposure.

Nugget #35 Half Dome Yosemite midnight ID 700

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