Adventures in Yosemite

Back in August, Chris and I traveled to San Diego for a belated 5th anniversary trip! We’re excited to share some of our personal travel images now that photographing client sessions have slowed down, and thought we’d start today with The Time We Went to Yosemite and it was On Fire. When we travel, we love to drive around and see a bunch of different areas. So when we were planning our San Diego trip, we had the idea to visit Yosemite, even though it’s about an 8 hour drive from where we would be staying to Yosemite Valley. But shortly before the beginning of our trip, an awful wildfire broke out in Yosemite, and we didn’t think we’d be able to go. Fast forward to a few days before our trip was over, and we’re hearing reports that all the smoke was staying north of the valley, and skies were clear. So we checked all  the live feed cameras, and decided to go for it. We started our adventure around 4 am, and headed north. As the sun began to rise, I began checking the live feed cameras….and there was not much to see. Everything was a little fuzzy. Chris was holding out hope that it might just be fog, but as the sun came up more, we realized it was definitely smoke. Checking the reports, we found out that the wind had shifted, blowing smoke into the valley. At this point, we were about halfway there, and decided we might as well give it a try. As we entered the mountains, the smoke slowly started rolling in, and by the time we reached the park gate, you could actually see the ash falling from the sky.

Once in the park we were greeted with Extreme Fire Danger signs and an eerie, muffled quiet due to the smoky air. The light was an other worldly reddish orange (the color images below are pretty much straight out of the camera!), and strangely beautiful. Even though we couldn’t see the views Yosemite is famous for, it was still an incredible experience, and amazing in it’s own way! We drove around for a few hours, then walked a few miles to Mirror Lake (more on that below 😉 ) in the smoke and falling ash (those air quality warnings were no joke!).

These are some of our favorites!










This is one of my favorites! It was so incredible to come through the tunnel and open up into this view!







It’s kind of hard to tell here, but the red light on the rock is the way the sun was shining through the smoke



The famous Mirror Lake. It turns out, it’s only a lake part of the year, then it dries up…





The sign as we were leaving the park, and the sky when we got back to where we were staying, approximately 22 hours after we left

Thank you all for stopping by the blog! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and are having a great week, full of the best kind of adventures!


  • December 3, 2013 - 10:08 am

    jenn stark - beautiful guys.. xx

  • December 10, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    James - Love seeing the odd bit of personal work. You’ve put a real sense of escapism/freedom/adveture in these. Well done.

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