Last November I planned a trip to Yosemite to coincide with the full moon rising above Half Dome at sunset. When a prematurely cold storm blew through and blanketed Yosemite with snow. While the photography was fantastic, I resigned myself to waiting another year for the moonrise I’d hoped for. And I certainly didn’t complain. After a full day of photography in conditions than ranged from overcast to downright stormy, as sunset approach I saw nothing to give me hope for the anticipated moonrise. Nevertheless, I headed to Tunnel View to finish the day.
What happened next was a reminder of why I never try to predict Yosemite’s weather in five minutes based on Yosemite’s weather right now. As many times as I’ve visited Tunnel View (surely it must be in the thousands), the view as a storm clears can still take my breath away. That evening I arrived to find Yosemite Valley coated in a sugary glaze; within minutes Mother Nature served up the next course, turning the clouds above Half Dome cotton candy pink. Then, as if by magic, a gap materialized in the clouds to the right of El Capitan to reveal the moon, like a glowing lollipop. Within sixty seconds the clouds had swallowed the moon and the visual feast was over.