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Albert Maywood Courtright II

Reminiscences of Maywood Courtright

Yosemite National Park

We passed thru a small section of the southwest corner of Kings Canyon on leaving Sequoia. The canyon is said to be spectacular but the only way to reach it is on foot and with a lot of climbing. We drove out of the park toward the west for some distance before we found a road leading north which would allow us to reach the road leading back east to Yosemite. I think we spent the night in cabins just outside the park entrance but they may have been inside the park.

Yosemite is a titanic casm, seven miles long and averaging a mile wide, gouged out by glaciers of the ice age. Near the west end of the gorge where we entered, sheer granite walls over 3,000 [feet] rise vertically from the valley floor. After our experience in trying to ascend to the top of Pikes Peak we decided against driving the car up to any of the overlook points and drove east along the floor of the valley very slowly, stopping frequently when signs pointed to good viewpoints or paths thru the woods to places of interest. We couldn’t have seen much of Yosemite Falls, for example, without getting out of the car and walking some distance to the north. Our parlor stereopticon had again made me familiar with names such as El Capitan, Spanish for “The Captain,” Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls and Glacier Point but color photography had not been invented at the time the photos were made. At the east end of the canyon, the road climbs gradually upward until you come out onto the alpine meadows above the treeline, an entirely different landscape, then crosses Tioga Pass at an elevation of 9,941 feet. The east side of the Sierras is dry and bare and we could see our gravel road clinging to the side of the mountain and becoming smaller and smaller until it joined R395 far below. It was spectacular and a little scary but the road was wide and safe enough tho I wouldn’t have liked to drive it in a storm.

We went thru Carson City, the capital of Nevada but didn’t stop. The town was small and didn’t look very interesting. We reached Reno and found a motel in plenty of time to look over the town a little before it got dark.

Like Las Vegas, Reno was full of slot machines and nightclubs. Slot machines were lined up against the wall in the grocery store where we went to get supplies for our next day’s lunch. Reno was chiefly noted, however, as a place where married couples, dissatisfied with their marriage, could get a quick divorce, Nevada law being such that only a short stay in the state is necessary to establish residence. There were signs all over town offering room and board and legal aid. Gambling and night clubs relieved the boredom of women and men waiting to establish residence so that divorce papers could be filed.

Table of Contents
Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks
Salt Lake City & Great Salt Lake

Last modified on 15 April 2021 17:59