#National Geographic

Yosemite: The Rim Fire

Map of fire area

Map of fire area

Yosemite National Park; for some a haven for rock climbing, trekking and camping. It is known for its stunning granite landscapes and it's famous "Tunnel View" but for me Yosemite is mostly about two things, Ansel Adams and the Half Dome (which I failed to climb last time I was there).

Covering around 800,000 acres, the park consists of an abundance of vegetation and wildlife, spectacular waterfalls, giant Sequoia trees that date hundreds and thousands of years, and plays host to approx. 3.7m visitors a year. Yosemite was also integral to America's National Park development; it is steeped in both history and beauty.

In August 2013, a fire raged. The "Rim Fire" named after the location it was suspected to have started, burned through 257,314 acres, took 2 months to completely contain, using 3800 firefighters. It destroyed 98 outbuildings and 11 residences. There was approx. a 60 mile dead zone, and 280 square miles of chard, singed, and burnt plantation. The overall cost to area: $127million. And a human hand caused it all.

2014, and not surprisingly the signs of the fire still remain. Fires are not uncommon for this area, however they are usually controlled, used to rejuvenate not too destroy. A hunter with an illegal fire that got out of control caused the “Rim Fire”, his name remains undisclosed, and it has been promised the punishment will be severe. When asked how much trouble he was in, " a lot " was the reply from the spokesman. The Park will, with help, return to life. Some vegetation has already begun to grow from the ashes, slowly.

But for now it's a sad sight, one that is a gigantic reminder of the fragility of the beauty on this planet. And how we should respect and encourage to protect the land that we are lucky to share.

(Im)patiently waiting..

Hello all! 2014 is upon us and by now I should've been in Chicago starting the new adventures, however due to a rare Polar Vortex in America plunging temperatures to -25 (and the rest) and the combination of trying to get my broken tooth sorted from that British Airways bag of nuts on my 2013 flight to China things have been delayed somewhat, however thankfully I now have a departure date of 31st Jan so this Travel blog will soon be a hive of activity. 

In the meantime I found out that I have had an image shortlisted by National Geographic Traveller Magazine under "People" category. It was one of my goals for 2014 to somehow get an image in print in a National Geographic magazine and three weeks into New Year I am glad to announce it will be printed in the April edition along with the other shortlisted entries and the winners. Funny to think this all happened after picking up a random copy of "Traveller" in China last year while passing the time on that cramped train to Tibet. 

Hopefully there will be some other good news on its way before we depart the UK but for now, here is the link to all the National Geographic shortlisted entries, I hope you will agree that there are some superb entires there. 

Click here: National Geographic Traveller online competition shortlist

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