Wednesday, December 29, 2021

State Route 140 (Cellphone - Part 2) - Yosemite National Park

On 26 December 2021, I visited Yosemite National Park in California for a day trip. I went right between 2 of the biggest snowstorms of the season so far, and there was only a period of around 9 to 10 hours that were snow free. I knew the scenery inside Yosemite is going to be very beautiful after a snowstorm, so I went to take some photos. I only brought my mirrorless camera this time as the polarizer on my big camera is completely jammed (I found out about this on my trip into Yosemite 10 days prior). I took both photos on my cellphone and my mirrorless camera on this trip. The photos are split into 3 parts. I hope you enjoy viewing my photos.

As mentioned, I had taken a trip into Yosemite National Park 10 days prior this trip on 16 December 2021. I have lumped the links to the blog posts for both of the trips together.

Parts (16 December 2021): 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos (Part 1)

Parts (26 December 2021): 3 (Coming Soon) | 4 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 2)

The photos for today are photos I took with my cellphone on 26 December 2021. The photos were all shot on State Route 140 prior to passing the Arch Rock Entrance. My parents and I were very surprised at the amount of traffic going into Yosemite that day. There was a very long line, and we ended up waiting in line for around 2 hours before getting to the Arch Rock Entrance. Big Oak Flat Entrance on State Route 120 was closed on this particular day due to snow. I think the reason the line was this long was because the ranger was checking everyone for tire chains (this include AWD vehicles with snow tires, you are still required to carry chains). The line was pretty crazy, people just relieved themselves on the side of the road in front of everyone (including my parents and I). 😂 I'm still not sure why this many people went considering there were only a couple hours between the biggest storms of the season so far. If the weather forecast was even a little bit off, I think there was a huge risk of spending the night inside Yosemite in below freezing temperatures and whiteout conditions.

A scenery photo of us waiting in line. We got a glimpse of the snow that has fallen inside Yosemite. On the right is the Merced River.
The traffic was going so slowly, some passengers in some vehicles got out and started walking around taking photos (including me).

A scenery photo of us waiting in line. On the left is the Merced River.

A scenery photo of us waiting in line. On the right is the Merced River.


A scenery photo of the Merced River. There was so much snow already, and also very cold!

A scenery photo of the Merced River.

A scenery photo of the Merced River.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

As mentioned, I had taken a trip into Yosemite National Park 10 days prior this trip on 16 December 2021. I have lumped the links to the blog posts for both of the trips together.

Parts (16 December 2021): 1 | 2 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 1)

Parts (26 December 2021): 3 (Coming Soon) | 4 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 2)

Note about winter travel in Yosemite: On the day my parents and I went to Yosemite, we took State Route 140, and R2 level chain control was in place. My parents and I waited 2 hours in line just to get in (this is on a Sunday). The Big Oak Flat Entrance on State Route 120 was closed due to snow. The park police at Arch Rock Entrance was checking everyone for tire chains. It doesn't matter if you have snow tires and AWD. The only benefit of vehicles with snow tires and AWD is that you only have to carry the chains, you don't have to put them on immediately (unless the conditions get really bad). All other vehicles not having snow tires, or are not AWD are required to have tire chains installed. If you don't have tire chains, you'll have to turn around, drive around a mile, and buy them from the guy selling tire chains on the side of the road. If there isn't anyone selling tire chains on the side of the road, you'll be looking at an even longer drive back. 

Also, as we were driving into the park, we saw a broken down vehicle, with several of its airbags deployed, in a ditch on the side of State Route 140. If I had to guess, it probably took place the night before during the heavy snowstorm, and another vehicle probably slid on the ice rear ending this vehicle. My dad also learned in a moderately hard way of the dangers of black ice. The ambient temperature in Yosemite Valley dipped below the freezing point of water at around sunset. My dad nearly hit a car in front of us that was stopped at a stop sign because our car kept sliding forward on ice despite my dad braking. Luckily the car in front of us saw us slipping and floored it. My dad learned his lesson. He drove slowly and maintained extra distance with the vehicle in front of us until we were a few degrees above freezing and we were no longer able to see any more snow on the side of the road. 

Also, we got to witness karma on this trip. Please don't be the jerk who thinks he or she knows how to drive on ice better than everyone else. My parents witnessed this on our drive out of the park (I'm night blind at this point). Our family and this car in front of us was driving slow at night out of the park because we knew there was ice on the ground. This impatient pickup behind us decided to blind both of us with his or her high beams for a while, before illegally passing both of us. My parents watched as that pickup slipped and swerved before slowing down to a crawl like us. It's amazing how fast karma hits and that pickup didn't crash.

Here are my recommendations if you are going to Yosemite during the winter:

  • Make sure you check Yosemite's website and CalTrans's website for information on road closures and chain control.
  • If you go while chain control is in place, make sure you are carrying tire chains.
  • If you are going during the holidays or on the weekend, leave early as you might be waiting in line for hours just to get into the park.
  • Pay attention to the thermometer readings in your vehicle. Once the ambient temperature outside starts approaching or goes below the freezing point of water, slow down and maintain more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you as black ice could be forming on the ground.
  • Don't be the jerk who thinks he or she can drive better and faster than everyone else in freezing conditions.

Drive safely, slow down, and enjoy the winter scenery inside Yosemite! Don't rush!

Parts (16 December 2021): 1 | 2Cellphone Photos (Part 1)

Parts (26 December 2021): 3 (Coming Soon) | 4 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 2)

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Tunnel View & Cook's Meadow (Cellphone - Part 1) - Yosemite National Park

On 16 December 2021, I visited Yosemite National Park in California for a day trip after being motivated by this Tweet on Twitter. I still can't see too well due to visual snow syndrome, but after seeing the scenery inside Yosemite from that Tweet, I felt very motivated to go try my best and take some photos of the snow. After all, I've been a photographer for over a decade now and an opportunity like this is hard to pass up no matter how bad my vision is. I think snow like this is pretty rare in Yosemite Valley. I actually haven't taken my Canon EOS 5D Mark III out for photos for a long time now because of my vision problems (it's a heavy camera to lug around). This has been the first photo shoot with my big camera since July 2019. I'm just happy I was able to get some photos of the snow. I took both photos on my cellphone and my DSLR on this trip. The photos are split into 3 parts. I hope you enjoy viewing my photos.

I took another trip into Yosemite National Park 10 days after this trip on 26 December 2021. I have lumped the links to the blog posts for both of the trips together.

Parts (16 December 2021): 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos (Part 1)

Parts (26 December 2021): 3 (Coming Soon) | 4 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 2)

The photos for today are photos I took with my cellphone on 16 December 2021. My mom also helped take a few photos of me with my camera setup. You can see from my cellphone photos that I am not the only one who knew the scenery will be very nice after a snowstorm. There were a ton of photographers at Tunnel View.

Two photos of other photographers who were also taking photos at Tunnel View after the snowstorm.

Scenery from Tunnel View after the snowstorm. The fog was slowly creeping into Yosemite Valley.


My mom helped take a few photos of me with my camera setup at Tunnel View.

A photo of other photographers who were also taking photos at Tunnel View after the snowstorm.

A photo of a tree and fog shot at Cook's Meadow in Yosemite Valley.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

I took another trip to Yosemite National Park 10 days after this trip on 26 December 2021. I have lumped the links to the blog posts for both of the trips together.

Parts (16 December 2021): 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos (Part 1)

Parts (26 December 2021): 3 (Coming Soon) | 4 (Coming Soon) | Cellphone Photos (Part 2)

Note about winter travel in Yosemite: On the day my parents and I went to Yosemite, we took State Route 120, R2 level chain control was in place, and it was still snowing a little bit. The park police at Big Oak Flat Entrance was super strict on tire chains, even asking you to show it to them before you can proceed past the Big Oak Flat Information Station. It doesn't matter if you have snow tires and AWD. The only benefit of vehicles with snow tires and AWD is that you only have to carry the chains, you don't have to put them on immediately (unless the conditions get really bad). All other vehicles not having snow tires, or are not AWD are required to have tire chains installed. Don't think you can just lie your way through, the park police won't let you do that. The park police will check you at the Big Oak Flat Information Station on State Route 120 (right past the entrance station). If you go while it's snowing and chain control is in place, make sure you are carrying tire chains. If you don't have tire chains, you'll have to buy them from the guy selling tire chains at the entrance to the park. It will cost you a lot more, and you can figure out how my parents and I found out.