USA // Part Three
I left Australia’s sunny shores wearing a dress and a pair of thongs (or flip flops for my American friends… they found my use of the word thongs quite amusing…) and I arrived to a chill in LA that I certainly wasn’t expecting; Hollywood movies had led me to believe that LA experienced summer all year, but they were wrong and so was I. Checking weather forecasts is a definite must for future trips as no matter how cold it was in LA, nothing really prepared me for the awesomeness and frigidity of Yosemite. The first night I was there, the temperature fell to -15°C and I had to attach chains attached to my tyres in order to get down into Yosemite Valley.
To give you an indication of the driving conditions, I had booked a cabin at the gorgeous Tenaya Lodge and the path/road thing that led to the cabins from the main Lodge was so bogged down that not even 4WDs could make it up the road, something they neglected to tell me when they said “oh, you’ll be right, you have snow chains on.” Snow chains on a Toyota Camry do not equal a 4WD!! So after sliding all over the road, getting bogged, and freaking out that I’d kill myself and/or destroy my rental car, I made it back to the Lodge and an absolutely stunning and warm room that I instantly felt at home in.
The drive in to Yosemite Valley was pretty much like my attempt to make it to the cabin, but a wee bit less slidey. I made it all the way in to the valley and was suitably and completely awe struck. To see a place I’d so admired in photos since I was a kid was just incredible. I think I just stood there in one spot for what felt like an eternity (although given the limbs going numb from cold, more like 5 minutes), so much so that the sun had started to set by the time I was leaving. The ranger was lovely enough to tell me to skedaddle before the roads got icy after sunset.
The images below are a collection a little all over my time in the US, but they tell a part of the story of my trip. For those of you that missed out on the previous posts, you can check out Part One here and Part Two here.
I look back on that drive to Yosemite and laugh at how naive I was, and I’m glad for it. That’s the part of me that will always yearn to be an explorer, to discover new things and to go off on wild travels all by my lonesome. It’s part of the reason I am a photographer and a part I’m grateful I could’ve let run loose in my travels.
For those wondering, all of these images were shot with either the Canon 5D Mark II with a 45mm tilt-shift lens or on film on the Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm f2.8 lens.