2021 Feb 14 | Mongolian New Year, Valentine's Day at Yosemite for firefall

Nice sunrise with a sliver moon.

Ogii making dumplings for Mongolian New Year.

Lots of shapes.


Ready to eat.

I found the quarter.

Fruit and snacks.

Video chatting with her family.

Her father showing their food.

They have lots of alcohol; we have mini-chocolate alcohol.

Ogii making more food.

Animal heads this time.

Instructions from Ogii's father.

I have to take my animal head and some dirt and rocks out.

Then bury it.

Ogii burying hers.

Then throwing milk.

This little frog was in the house; he must have snuck in overnight when it was cold.

Pretty sunrise on the drive to Yosemite.

A small waterfall.

Some guys walking in along the edge in the rain.

Chocolates and roses for Ogii for Valentine's Day.

Long line at the entrance around noon.

Lots of cars behind us, too.

A cute puppy in the car in front of us.

Its owner walking it.

Ogii cutting up summer sausgae for lunch.

Bridaveil Fall.

Getting a picture of valley view.

With all of the snow.

The last few weeks of February also have firefall, where Horsetail falls lights up at sunset. So many people show up that the rangers block off the right lane and only allow people walking there from the parking lot to viewing areas ahead.

However, it was still raining a lot, so there weren't many people headed there yet.

Extra porta-potties set up.

You can't park within a mile or so of the main viewing areas, and you can't be on the south side of the valley at all, or else they fine you.

It's still pretty foggy; we might not see it today.

A cute little snowman.

The fog let up, so we decided to go and see if we could see the firefall. We were about three hours early to get a good spot, so we brought chairs.

The El Capitan picnic area was the main location they were having people go. Most people parked to the east and were on that side of the lot; we parked to the west and were away from most of them.

The best views are from Southside Drive at the tight bend in the Merced River, but you're not allowed to even be there any more after so many people crowded onto the river bank a few years ago the bank collapsed. You can hike up the Four Mile Trail, the zig-zagging one to the far right, but you have to hike a fair amount and right now there might be lots of snow and ice, so we stuck to the picnic area.

Just a few clouds left.

Our spot.

Not many other people here.

It sprinkled a bit but thankfully didn't rain.

Horsetail falls starting to light up.

Pretty bright now.

The color starting to squeeze in.

Right at sunset is the best time.

Except a cloud went in front of the sun right then and blocked the light, so we didn't see the falls light up.

Me getting pictures.

Staying at a condo in Yosemite West.

Dinner of peanut butter sandwiches.

Ogii warming up by the fire.

Up early the next morning to catch sunrise at Tunnel View. There were already a fair number of photographers up at 6am.

All crowded along the edge.

Some color.

Then we rushed down to Valley View. The parking lot was full as well.

And the bank was crowded with photographers.

The color was mostly gone by the time we got there.

Yosemite Falls from Swinging Bridge.

Lots of snow and ice around it.


Ogii by a snowman.

Hey, what are you going to do with that snowball?

Ah, now I know.

Breakfast at Base Camp Eatery. The clerk remembered us from the last time we were there right before they shut down.

A crow eating ice pellets for water.

Burnt trees in the snow.

Ogii had dropped her gloves when we left in the morning. Thankfully they were still there when we came back in the afternoon.

We were lucky to not have any ice or snow on the roads at all; just in the parking lot.

Cruising: our retirement plan.

A bit of wine and chocolate before an mid-morning nap.

Kids sledding down the hills.

The first view of Half Dome when you come from the south.

Little icicles.

A cloud lining up perfectly with Bridalveil Fall.

Pretty clear skies for now.

Lots of snowmen in this field.

A pipe running up a tree; I wonder what that's for?

More people set up to watch the firefall.

Some people here.

And more over here.

Our spot.

Ogii watching with binoculars.

We put bark under our boots to keep our feet warm.

Watching the Eurovision movie while we wait.

Some clouds starting to come.

And unfortunately the clouds continued to block off the entire sky during sunset. So two attempts at firefall and two misses, with the first night only missing it by a cloud coming across in the last few minutes. At least it was still a nice weekend in Yosemite.