If Providence does not intercede against my plans, on Saturday I’ll head west on Interstate 40 to California. I don’t know how long I’ll be there. I don’t know where I’ll go next. My summer is free.

Regardless, I’m excited.

Now, I often call California “Commifornia.” California deserves this. The most psychotic Marxist liberals live there. The political class is insane. They’ve destroyed the state. The cost of living, taxes, traffic, congestion, pollution, homelessness and millions of laws are driving millions of people away – by design I say. Whereas it may have been a paradise once, it is now paradise lost.

The Yosemite Valley – or Merced River Canyon – from the Tunnel View. This was taken with an old Samsung. All photos here are from that same Samsung.

Well, not entirely. The land is still stunning. Frankly, I consider its land the most beautiful on earth. And what draws me near now is the land of the band of killers.

You know what I’m talking about, right? The land of the “yo-che-ma-te,” or its anglicized version known as Yosemite. See, Miwok Indians have been living around the land that became the national park since time immemorial. The particular band of Miwoks around there were called Ahwahneechee. As National Geographic says:

Out of fear and respect, other tribes called them the yo-che-ma-te – a phrase that’s been translated as “grizzly bear,” “band of killers,” or “some among them are killers” – and a word that would eventually be applied to the entire valley and the surrounding park.”

To those who know nothing about Yosemite, it’s a federal park on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains that covers about 1200 square miles. The park borders, essentially, protect the sources of two rivers called the Merced and the Tuolome, which start west of the Sierra’s divide, and run west until, more or less, the rivers flow out of the mountains, and into California’s Central Valley (where all water coming off the Sierras – from not just these two rivers – is gobbled up in one of the most agriculturally productive places on planet earth).

Yosemite’s epicenter of tourism is “Yosemite Valley.” That’s where all the main buildings like visitor centers, hotels, and big campsites are. However, to me, this valley is really a canyon whose walls rise above the Merced River, whose source is the high-country’s melting snow (which can accumulate up 50-feet deep in the highest Sierra elevations). That water then falls…

The Nevada Falls on the Merced River.

When you stand at the bottom of the Yosemite Valley, and look up, you see glacier-polished granite walls rising thousands of feet above the green valley in shapes and forms that compel the eye to glide gracefully along contours that create the perception of enormous space. Pines, fir and spruce grow along the river and speckle canyon walls all the way up into the highest mountain country where snow lasts into summer. Add to this a golden sun and waterfalls that roar to life in May and June as temperatures in the high Sierras finally stay warm enough to melt that snowpack, and Yosemite glows with a vibrancy that makes you question whether you are witnessing a dream or reality.

It is not hyperbole to say it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. In my humble opinion, Yosemite is tied with Grand Canyon as the most awesome spectacle in the Lower 48. I’ve only been there once, but, it made such an impression upon me that I don’t think months upon months is enough time there. Looking down upon Nevada Falls’ mist refract light into a rainbow amid pines along the Merced created the effect of what I could only call a fire rainbow. Then looking up to the midday glow of that polished granite rise above that misty fire made clear why John Muir called the Sierras the “Range of Light.” I recall this moment in of June 2019 as one of the happiest moments in life. It makes me burn to return.

That fire rainbow

It’s just such a shame that Yosemite’s in California. It’s a shame that all of California’s beauties are in Commifornia. I just hope God saves it all in spite of all what the liberals are doing to destroy that state.

Gas is the mid-$5 range outside the park. However, my 45 mpg Yaris won’t hurt my wallet too much. Neither will the campsite I procured for $30 a night (though the hotels outside the park are about $300 a night). Ultimately, I know how to travel frugally, and maybe I’ll travel for months straight. But I dunno.

I know this, after Yosemite, I want to make it down to Kings Canyon national park, which is adjacent to Sequoia national park. Kings Canyon is a giant canyon south of Yosemite whose walls rise higher than the Grand Canyon’s. Sequoia national park preserves the largest of all the giant sequoia trees in California. I’ll hit there too.

After that, again, I dunno. All I know is that Yosemite is my number one target, and I can’t believe I’m leaving tomorrow…

May God protect.

A view of the Yosemite Valley from up high on Glacier Point… taken with my crappy Samsung.