well I’m breaking down here and doing El Capitan again because it was too pretty to pass up. This is one of the gem monoliths of Yosemite Valley, the prize of California wilderness. It’s got staying power, you know. It’s not going to catch on fire.
Speaking of fire, this is the site of the famous ‘firefall’ of Yosemite valley. The park would pile up a whole bunch of logs on top of El Capitan every day and burn them (to keep warm?) and at sunset, just as it was getting dark, they’d take an enterprising bulldozer driver….presumably someone who was absolutely not going to confuse the gas and brake pedal….and have him push the burning pile of logs off the cliff so the fire would rain down on the forest below. like safety dude, said modern man, so they ceased the practice in 1968. Nowadays, there’s an optical phenomenon that they call ‘the firewall’, where at the exact right time of the year, the light hits a particular slice of rock in the park and lights up a brilliant orange glow. pics: Well i don’t know about you, but this is basically the plot of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, and given, well, the circumstances of Yosemite, I thought it would be a good time to look up lost/hidden treasures of the Merced River. Would you believe it…nothing came up! I thought for sure Yosemite area will have some great story about a lost mine, but no, no, no. Nothing to compare with the famous Lost Dutchman Mine legend I’d always heard in my youth. No maps, no coded stones or inscriptions, just the archetypal indian legends about the cannibal giants, trapping them in a cave and then setting the entrance of the cave on fire to kill them, a story which is common to every indian tribe I’ve encountered. (the basis for this legend must have been fascinating) In fact when I look up ‘yosemite cave’ nothing comes up. The ‘indian caves’ of yosemite are actually a giant boulder pile, same for the half dome cave. That’s an odd thing, isn’t it? There’s caves everywhere in those mountains. Mercer Caverns , eerie Bower Cave, Crystal Cave But no big ones in yosemite? things that make you go hmmmm…..
Xander is up to no good, as usual.