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El Capitan, Yosemite

"Calamity Jane" goes West !

A "convenience" start to a great family holiday!
Jane Richardson retains close ties with her immediate family, and spends regular time with them when she is not playing golf or engaged in camera club activities. None of us was surprised therefore, that she decided to accompany her daughter Karon, son in law Steph, and grand-daughter Ellie on a trip to America last summer, to visit her grandson Josh and his fiancée, where they have decided to settle. Jane faithfully recorded all their many adventures, and we were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of her colourful presentation on Thursday evening, when she transported us all out into the wild west, via Las Vegas!

Beginning in style, she had to rely upon a passing Ranger to retrieve her prescription sunglasses from a local convenience, but rapidly moved on to the arid deserts and rocky escarpments of Mount Zion and Bryce Canyon. On the way they marvelled at the towering sculptures of the prehistoric animals of Galleta, and washed away the dust of travel in the sea at San Diego, pausing briefly to capture patterns in the sand, and exotic bathers cavorting on the beach in skimpy swim suits and outrageously floppy hats.

The whole trip was physically demanding, as younger members of the family tackled mountains and ravines with gusto, and navigated the walks up the famous Narrows, where submerged rocks threatened every step, and Jane was supported and encouraged along the way. Curious as ever, Jane revelled in the red cliffs and chocolate coloured sedimentary rocks deposited and eroded in this vast country, whilst seeking out the wildlife in chipmunks and deer and the delights of the sprouting fungi . Evidence of bears was there but not obvious, although, to her delight, she spotted one at a distance, thankfully from the car. She avoided descending into the spiky lava tubs and choking on the dust buggies on the long road to Yosemite, instead, enjoying the greener, more pleasant scenery around the glacial lakes, upon which she was persuaded to kayak, but in which she was reluctant to swim!

The towering peaks of El Capitan and the Half Dome were magnificently captured in all their glory, up close and from afar as the family climbed waterfalls and cheerfully encouraged her up and down the treacherous paths, or left her to meander along more lowly river creeks. The sun was scorching, and by her own admission, Jane spent the entire holiday soaking wet and dishevelled, seeking shade at every tree or overhang, but loving every moment! Returning to Las Vegas before the long flight home, Jane was able to use her camera skills to record the colour and atmosphere of the famous city where Elvis look-alikes lurked on corners, happy revellers sported mind blowing dreadlocks under colourfully lit canopies, and the gold embellished Trump Tower soared ever ominously on the skyline.

This was a thoroughly relaxed and pleasant evening hosted by Jane, and she was warmly thanked by all. Tony had arrived back safely from the storm ridden New Zealand trip, and we look forward to his photos at some point in the future. In the meantime it’s the AGM next week, after which Janice will be showing a few of her own images to complete the programme. Members are reminded to hand in images for the next competition by then entitled “Buildings”.

Jenny Short 24 02.2023