Vernal Falls Yosemite National Park

As we finally begin our decent from half dome, the trail is filled with continuing marvels such as "vernal Falls". It is probably 300′ or more in height, and the sheer volume of water thundering out and over the drop fills much of the valley with the sound of its power. The water juts straight out from the top in massive sheets, only to be caught by gravity which shatters the sheets, then merges them together, then shatters them again as the water is crashed against the vertical wall.

There is an area surrounding the fall that is a perpetual cloud of mist. Along the edges, parts of the cloud appear to be leaping out in an attempt to escape the larger mass, only to be sucked back down to the pool at the base, or to instantly evaporate.

After coming closer towards the base, its splendor is only magnified. By the time the water finally reaches the bottom, it is moving at lightning speed. Droplets are screaming over the surface of the rock, desperately trying to slow themselves down. But no sooner does one drop land than another knocks it out of the way.

It looks like a torrential snow storm turned on end. The misty cloud at the base obscures everything from view — it is a magical zone where the forces of nature violently clash, yet give the outward appearance of serenity, beauty, and calmness.

Along the banks of the river below, huge wisps spin off from the cloud at great speeds — traveling outwards 200′ or more along the forest floor. There is an urge to walk closer and closer to the cloud — to somehow enter inside and experience the magic as only the water does. But those traveling wisps are brutally cold, and sting the skin as millions of tiny darts. The wisps are a warning to keep my distance, lest the cloud swallow me hole, and never let go.

Yosemite National Park
Vernal Falls
Ass Holes on Ice Hills

Copyright (C), 1998, by Ashley Guberman

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