Greetings from Yosemite National Park

After my US Army tour of duty in 1962, I was hired as an engineer in Yosemite NP. Talk about a magnificent place. I worked there one year and saw the park in all four seasons. The winter of 1963 was incredibly beautiful. The giant trees in the valley were coated with ice and it was a sight seldom seen. The year 1963 brought us the flooding of the Merced River and we had to close the valley to visitors. We used to enjoy the Fire Falls until they stopped it because it caused too many fires. My wife and I were married in the little chapel in Yosemite Village and after the ceremony, we caught a glimpse of a bear cub in a nearby tree watching the ceremony. In October 1963 I was moved to Mt. Rainier NP and spent a year and a half there enjoying the skiing at Paradise and dealing with the 20 feet of snow. Mt. Rainier was magnificent. The rest of my career was spent with the US Forest Service on the Angeles, Six Rivers and Stanislaus national forests. I have many unforgettable memories of both the parks and the national forests. They are all beautiful, even the Angeles NF overlooking Los Angeles. On one foggy day, I stood on a point overlooking Los Angeles and all I could see was the fog. The city could not be seen. I turned to go back to my truck and I saw a Bobcat crouched by a nearby tree.

When in Yosemite, I lived in a small room in the Ranger’s Club. The Ranger’s club was paid and built by the first director of the Park Service out of his own pocket. We don’t see that kind of dedication today. On the highway to Fresno, one can still see the rock walls built by the WPA during the depression. The WPA did an immense amount of work in our national parks.

Sincerely,
John

Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, its towering ancient sequoia trees, and its spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world. Emerging from the park’s famous Tunnel View is a transformative experience, showcasing the jaw-dropping, iconic sight of El Capitan rising from the valley floor with Bridalveil Falls plummeting from the rock and Half Dome shining in the background. The park also features meadows and streams, historic buildings, and vast wilderness.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

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