Lower Yosemite Falls. Copyright ©2005 James McGrew
This perspective required a short but icy cold adventure through the torrential downpour of "spray" and winds at the base of the falls. To prepare for the journey I placed all my camera and painting equipment inside ziploc bags in my daypack. Then I protected my daypack with a plastic cover and finally wearing Chacos and waterproof pants and jacket with hood, I took a series of deep breaths, put my head down and ventured up through the slippery boulders the wall adjacent to the base of the Lower Yosemite Fall. I would take a step onto a rock with only a half inch of water sheeting down its surface and suddenly a burst of wind would deposit so much water from the air that I'd be instantly standing on six inches of water rushing around my ankles. The wind and blasts of water nearly knocked me over a few times. I watched miniature waterfalls form on my chest as so much water slammed against my body, collected and dropped to the ground. In a few minutes, I was out of the bulk of the water and continued climbing the steep boulders towards the crevice behind the waterfall. Once I reached my destination, intent on capturing the first rays of morning sunshine as it lit the fall from behind, I removed my back pack only to find shreds of tattered plastic clinging to the straps. The winds and driving water actually shredded the rain cover from my pack. Despite my energy, layers of clothing, the shivering still took about an hour to cease, making photography and painting difficult, but a spectacular experience I remember clearly even more than five years later. I made the same journey later that night to watch the light of the full moon shine down through the waterfall.