Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cool, clear, soda water?

Another beautiful drive along Tioga Pass Road took us into Yosemite for our last hike in the mountains.   

As we were quite early we were able to find a parking space at the Dog Lake/Lembert Dome parking area.   And, even better, as we set off for Soda Springs, we had the trail to ourselves.

Soda Springs isn’t far and it really is an easy trail, if there is an elevation gain it’s so little you don’t even notice it.   The trail follows the Tuolumne River with amazing views all around.

Unlike all the other springs we’ve ever visited, at soda springs cold, naturally carbonated water bubbles to the surface and has done so for thousands of years.   Why is a total mystery, even to geologists. 

There are several small springs, but the main spring is enclosed by a protective wooden surround.

As it comes out of the ground, the water is pure and uncontaminated, but there is always the possibility that it could be contaminated by animals or people.

Near the springs we stopped to look at the McCauley Cabin and Parsons Memorial Lodge.  

In 1897 the McCauley brothers bought the land for pasture from Jean Baptiste Lembert and built a cabin.   When it came up for sale again in 1912 it was bought by the Sierra Club to keep it uncommercialised.   They opened a small summer campground, in 1973 the National Park Service bought the land from the Sierra Club.

The cabin has a fabulous view.

Edward Taylor Parsons was a guide for the early Sierra Club and led hundreds of people into the high mountains.   He also campaigned with John Muir, unsuccessfully, to keep Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley undammned.   Edward Taylor Parsons died in 1914.

In 1915 The Sierra Club erected the lodge in his memory as a meeting place and reading room.   Parsons Lodge is used as a centre for exhibits and special programmes as well as a refuge from afternoon thunderstorms.   It is now a National Historic Landmark. 

A couple more of the beautiful views along Soda Springs Trail.

We had a fabulous day and really enjoyed our last hike in Yosemite and who knows, maybe one day we’ll get to come back again. 

Have fun, we are!

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