How’d That Get Up There?

In From the Mailbag

Upper Yosemite Fall by Michael Lanza

Michael Lanza from The Big sent me a link to a recent post on his blog about his trip to Yosemite with his 7-year-old daughter, Alex.

My seven-year-old daughter, Alex, is engaged in some heavy intellectual lifting. I can tell by the way she stares quietly, her brow knitted in thought, at Upper Yosemite Falls. We’ve hiked for 90 minutes up a thousand vertical feet of hot, dusty trail above Yosemite Valley to stand below this curtain of water that plunges a sheer 1,430 feet off a cliff, ripping through the air with a sound like fighter jets buzzing us.

I can only imagine how it challenges her young sense of perspective. I was an adult when I first saw Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America at 2,425 feet, consisting of the upper falls in front of us, several hundred feet of cascades below it, and 400-foot-tall Lower Yosemite Falls, out of sight far below us. It awed me then, as it still does. But I’m wondering what it looks like to the eyes of a seven-year-old.

Finally, Alex asks me, “How does the water go up the mountain?”

Hmm, well…there’s a hose that stretches from the a water faucet over by the Visitors Center up to the top of the fall. Every morning the rangers turn it on before any of the visitors get up and every night they shut it off. I’m sure you can imagine how warped my kids are going to be.

Thanks for sharing Michael. Be sure to check out Michael’s photos and blog at

Photo by Michael Lanza.

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4 commentsOn How’d That Get Up There?

  • And those are the same rangers who move solid granite cliffs out of the way so people driving along the highway in Patterson can have a wonderful view of Half Dome from their car. Amazing folks, those rangers.

    • That’s why I bought all that land in Patterson. Who wouldn’t want to buy a home with “Yosemite views. See Half Dome from your porch”?

  • Last September, I volunteered in Yosemite Valley. Visitors would look at the stain where Yosemite Falls was located and they would ask me, “where’s the water?” — to which I replied, “Money is tight. We did not pay our water bill”.

  • That’s okay. You guys can go ahead and laugh. Someday I’ll have my own shot of Half Dome from the SJV. And Jim, I’d sure like it if you could take the time to join me on this adventure. The trouble is, it would require an open calendar since we don’t have control over Mother Nature.

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