From the monthly archives:

February 2011

Feb 12, 2011 – Fish Camp, CA, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite will be celebrating Earth Hour by encouraging guests to shut off the lights in their rooms and head to the lobby for special Earth Hour Events. In addition, The Lodge will be shutting off any non-essential lighting on the premises. Earth Hour is globally celebrated from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

From its inception as a single-city initiative in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global movement where hundreds of millions of people from every continent join together to acknowledge the importance of protecting our planet.

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite will be hosting a complimentary flashlight hike from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., complete with “Spark in the Dark” Life Savers®. Following the hike, there will be a “Malibu Bike” in the lobby from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., where guests can make their own complimentary blended drinks by pedaling a bicycle to operate a blender. Complete the night with stargazing from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with professional astronomer Steve Harness on the new Terrace, with its expansive views of the High Sierra starry clear skies.

Jackalope’s Bar and Grill will be offering the following Earth Day specials throughout the day: 1) Organic and sustainable heirloom tomato salad with organic watercress and local spiced almonds, served with valley honey-pistachio dressing. 2) Wilted organic spinach topped with trap caught sustainable shrimp, quinoa and local orange-tarragon salsa. Jackalope’s is 100% compliant with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program by responsibly sourcing sustainable seafood to protect the oceans.

The Ascent Spa at Tenaya’s true total well-being philosophy creates and provides a unique integration of therapeutic services that are authentic and mindful of the natural surroundings. Ascent is proud to feature an exclusive line of handcrafted Kimberly Parry Organic, one of the highest-rated certified organic skin care lines available, that offers a combination of natural and sustainable herbal blends indigenous to the Southern Sierra. In celebration of Earth Hour, 5% of all revenue on Kimberly Parry Organic spa products sold will be donated to the Yosemite Conservancy. Additionally, Kimberly Parry will be matching every donation.

For more information or to make reservations for Earth Day Events, call Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite at 888-514-2167, option 3 or visit online at


Yosemite National Park will require Day Use Permits seven days per week for climbing the Half Dome cables during the summer 2011 season. Day Use Permits were required Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during the 2010 summer season. However, due to high volumes of people on the cables during the non permitted days, the park is instituting the seven day requirement. This is part of a two year interim program designed to address crowding on the cables that has been occurring over the past few years.
Hiking to the top of Half Dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite National Park. The iconic granite monolith, at 8,842 feet above sea level, attracts people from all over the world who attempt to climb to the summit. Most visitors ascend Half Dome via the cables, which are in place from mid-May through mid-October. Most visitors begin and end their hike at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. This is an approximately 17 mile round-trip journey.
Permits are available by reservation starting March 1, 2011 for climbing the cables in May and June, 2011. Reservations for the permits can be made online at or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Subsequent permits will be available at the beginning of each month for permits three months in advance. Each person climbing the Half Dome cables will be required to have their own permit. Up to four permits may be obtained under one reservation. The permits are free, however, there is a non-refundable $1.50 service charge per person for each permit obtained.
The previous system did not allow hikers to cancel a portion of their Day Use Permit without canceling the entire permit. However, several user-friendly changes have been made to maximize flexibility for hikers wishing to obtain a permit. These include a feature that allows users to reduce the number of hikers on their existing reservation without canceling the entire permit. Another added feature is that users can cancel unneeded permits up to the day before to their planned climb. Additionally, users can now reserve available permits up to the day before their planned climb.
Hikers who obtained Half Dome Cables Day Use Permits and are unable to use them are urged to cancel their reservations through Although the service charge will not be refunded, this will enable other hikers to obtain available permits. Hikers interested in reserving a Day Use Permit should be aware that the Half Dome cable permit page on will not be fully functioning until the week prior to March 1, 2011. However, information regarding the Half Dome hike is currently available on the website.
A visitor use study on the 2010 Half Dome Cables Day Use Permit is available at To learn more about the Half Dome hike please visit


US Senate says Yosemite is Worthless (1864)

by Ted on February 2, 2011

The Senate discussed this worthless place in 1864. Senator John Conness of California said, in reference to Yosemite, that these “premises in the Sierra Nevada mountains…are for all public purposes worthless” and “of no value to the Government.” Another senator (William Kelley of Pennsylvania) was later paraphrased as saying that Yosemite Valley was a “far inferior wonder” compared to Yellowstone. By then, Yosemite (and its native inhabitants) had already been disrespected by the name the place had received in 1851. The Mariposa Battalion, venturing into the Yosemite area to forcibly remove all Indians they encountered, figured that they should name the place after the Indians who had (up until then) lived there. They had been told that the Indians that lived in Yosemite Valley were called “Yohemite” (or something similar). Thus, they named the place Yosemite. Unfortunately, the people living in Yosemite Valley called themselves “Ahwahneechee” (which translates to people of Ahwahnee; Ahwahnee means “place of the gaping mouth”). More unfortunately, “Yohemite” means something like “killers.” Since other local Indians apparently referred to the Ahwahneechee as Yohemites, it’s interpreted to mean “among them are killers.” It’s really unclear why they were called that.