2/17-18, 2017 

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 For a couple of weeks each February, the Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park appears to be set ablaze by the setting sun, a fleeting evening spectacle known as the “firefall.”  Though renowned photographer Ansel Adams captured the gleaming waterfall in 1940, the “firefall” didn’t become widely known until National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell documented it in 1973.  The geometry of the Yosemite Valley confines the firefall to mid-February, typically in the 15 minutes before sunset from February 16 to February 23. But weather plays a crucial role in whether the firefall pours down El Capitan’s eastern side (as we experienced this time...).

Getting there ...

It was a stormy day to drive to Yosemite.  Although we knew the chance to see a fantastic firefall was very slim this time, it was always a good feeling to get away from the daily work to immerge to the nature.  It was rainy all the way, but luckily it was relatively mild in temperature so no snow chains were required in the Yosemite Valley.


The First Day ...




The Second Day ...




We took the ranger-led snowshoe walk at 10:30AM.  Woanyu and I took our first snowshoe walk here in 1996 before we had kids (and now it is just 2 of us again!).  We tried snowshoe several times in the past years (2007 in Kings Canyon, 2003 in Sequoia), but we did not really pick up any winter sports (snowshoe, ski, cross country, etc.) as our family activities since we were still not used to snow and cold conditions.
When we gathered around the ranger station, the weather started to change quickly and it began to snow when we headed to the trail.




We took a leisure pace to walk back after the guided tour was done.  Woanyu built a nice cute snowman, and did the snow angel thing on the fresh snow. 






Going Home ...

After 5:30PM, we packed our gears and left for our car.  It was rainy hard when we drove out of the valley.  We will definitely come back again for the firefall (the crowds will continue to grow...) and our patience will win us a chance to see the best of Mother Nature.

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