Hetch Hetchy Valley...Yosemite

For the short time we had, before we all headed off in separate directions, we decided to visit a place none of us had been to before.
Hidden in Yosemite National Park’s peaceful northwest corner, Hetch Hetchy Valley is a treasure worth visiting in all seasons. In spring, two of North America’s tallest waterfalls plummet spectacularly over thousand-foot granite cliffs. The dramatic cliffs surrounding these waterfalls add to the grandeur that John Muir compared to the more well known Yosemite Valley. In 1870, Muir called Hetch Hetchy Valley “a wonderfully exact counterpart of the great Yosemite.”
Unfortunately for this Valley, the City of San Francisco needed a water source and Mr. O’Shaughnessy engineered a dam here (1923). 
Much controversy has surrounded this valley because of the need for water. Preservationists, led by John Muir, wanted the valley to remain untouched (before photo below). They maintained that a dam could be secured outside “our wild mountain parks.” Muir and his followers launched a campaign to praise the virtues of Hetch Hetchy. For the first time in the American experience, a national audience considered the competing claims of wilderness versus development. Until the early 1900s, Americans viewed wilderness as something to conquer and natural resources as infinite.
The Dam supporters won the battle and John Muir died not too long afterward. Some believe he died of a broken heart from not being able to save his beloved Valley.
There is still tremendous beauty here. While we didn't embark on its many trailheads, we delighted in the views of falls, flora, streams and dramatic rock cliffs.
While the reunion was too brief, we accomplished much and we have the photographs and memories to remember it all by. It was a great escape.

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