Tuesday, July 21, 2009


If you’ve never been to Yosemite National Park you should go. I’ve been there several times and each visit takes me to a place of wonder and awe.

The National Park Service puts it this way on their website.

Not just a great Valley...

but a shrine to human foresight, strength of granite, power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.”

Yosemite has a special history to it. It was discovered by a group of white men chasing Indians in the High Sierras of California.

The men were on a killing mission. They were hunting some Indians whom they thought raided a gold miner outpost. No white man had ever been inside the distant valley from Sacramento until this posse urged their horses up and into the high valley.

But once inside the valley, when they saw the vistas with the falls, and what we now call Half dome and El Capitan, their anger abated and man for man they were mesmerized by nature's grace.

Around a campfire on a cold and snowy night, one of the hunting party, Dr. Lafayette Brunnell suggested the place be named as a memorial to the Indians they were trying to kill.

The Uzumatee.

In time the name changed a little, but it is the origin of the name of the park today. Uzumatee became Yosemite.

The real name of the Indians, who had not raided the miner’s outpost, was Ahwahneechee. The tribe had inhabited the valley floor for thousands of years. Today there is a stately old log hotel on the valley floor of Yosemite called the Ahwahnee lodge.

Yosemite is a place where the human spirit embraces the grandeur of nature and sees that they are one.

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