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…