Cascade Falls as I've never seen them.
Coming to the valley by the US-120 way, over the desolation of Big Oak Flat, one always feels compelled to stop at Cascade Falls. This is true even when the falls are parched in the arid months of summer and fall. This past December, however, torrential rains had turned Yosmite valley into a great drainpipe for the craggy Sierra and Cascade Falls into one of the main outlets.
A thin ribbon of suspended asphalt seems poor support when strung above such a tempestuous churn and we certainly felt more than a little unease peering over the bridge unto the devastation the deluge was writing.
To face the falls for more than a moment reminded me of standing in a pre-dawn marine layer—our coats were soaked in minutes. Pines, who in more hospitable months had taken root in softer pockets of the tumbling, trundling mountain, surely regretted their dangerous perches as the bitter cold deluge threatened to pull their very claws from the granite. The Merced and the southern wall of the valley were shrouded by a cotton fog and the blue of nightfall.
As we rode 120's curves into the darkness, I wondered, what would we see next and will I ever see Cascade Falls like that again?