Geezer reality

So, the Big Road Trip to Yosemite on the occasion of the moon and Half Dome aligning themselves in just the position captured in Ansel Adams’ iconic photo isn’t going to happen.

Scott is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, meaning his right arm is strapped into a serious-looking sling, and thus, hemiplegic moi would be the pilot for this journey. Not that I haven’t driven to Yosemite many times, I have, and not that it started snowing in Yosemite a couple days ago – hey, I hail from Ohio and New York. I even have chains (and a tow rope) for my 4-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid – it’s fully winter-mountain-road legal.

Neither Scott nor I wanted to be the first to broach the topic on our last, recently resumed, 1.5 mile walk, but this would have been hard on both of us, especially considering that, lately, the weather’s been iffy in Yosemite, and it doesn’t seem to be trending the right way. The Ahwahnee Meadow, whence Adams made his photo, is already covered in snow, which would have been more perilous for both of us than the drive up.

I did enjoy listening to Michael Adams, Ansel’s son, describe how his dad stumbled upon the picture. The elder Adams was on his way to the Ahwahnee Hotel when he spotted the minor astronomical miracle of balanced light from sun and moon in front of him (not to mention a clear November day in the Sierras). He dived into his trunk and came up with the Ansel Adams version of a point-and-shoot camera (a Hasselblad) and waded out into the meadow’s snow to make the picture.

Trees have now grown sufficiently high to block the spot from which the original was snapped, but astronomers figure that the sight line should extend for some hundreds of yards back across the meadow. I never realized that the image came from a ‘mere’ Hasselblad, and I have a print from the original neg hanging in my guest bedroom. Adams was awesome in the lab…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, Photos, Travels. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Geezer reality

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a great road trip movie. Old photographers giving their last ghasp to get the shot. Relegated to a life of flea startups after the last media job went away, they decide to get an impossible shot on their own that formerly could only be gotten by a major newspaper. Would probably need a heroine somewhere.

  2. Beth Ann Daye says:

    Sorry you’re not going to be able to make it. I know you would have done Ansel Adams justice in your capture of the moment.

  3. cg says:

    Aww, lucky shot. Anybody could have got that… šŸ™‚

    But seriously, the picture’s been done already, the trip would have been bout having fun, but the hotel was already full – woulda been a mob scene. Prolly not the best scene for two infirm geezers…

  4. cg says:

    From Michael Frye (rescued from overzealous spam filter):

    Just FYI, there hasn’t been any snow in Yosemite Valley yet, so the Ahwahnee Meadow isn’t covered with snow. You can see for yourself on the web cam:

    On the other hand, since it’s Thanksgiving weekend there will probably be hundreds of people in that meadow for the occasion.

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