Wednesday, November 26, 2014

With Thanks

A sequence of modest storms (almost feeling like 'normal') has brought a bit of moisture to the Sierra, and we expect more this weekend. The river has risen a bit, but it's still flowing at about a third of average volume. To everyone's delight, Yosemite Falls came back to life after three months of absence. Bridalveil picked up a little, but Sentinel Fall and Royal Arch Cascades just trickled.

The last of the Mariposa Grove trams have circled their routes and departed the park for good last week. The Grove will be accessible per the usual winter access (walk in when snowy, drive up if it's clear) but the park's restoration project which starts next spring will close off regular visitor access at least through all of next season. There are still plenty of big trees to go around, at Yosemite's Tuolumne and Merced Groves and the nearby USFS Nelder Grove. New access to Mariposa Grove should become available in 2016, which is also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The short (by sequoia standards) closure should have the Grove healthy for many more NPS anniversaries.

Indian Summer has been beautiful, we have a new Research Librarian, Yosemite Falls pours again, snow covers Tioga Road, and a wintery storm is on the way; we have lots to make us grateful.