Double Rainbow Guy

Tufa's or petrified springs  in Mono Lake

Tufa’s or petrified springs in Mono Lake

On our way to Yosemite National Park, we followed the advice of my host ‘Bear’ to stop in Bodie Mountains & Mono Lake, often described as an oasis in the desert.  Mono Lake has no outlet and contains the unique sandstone formations known as tufa.  Those petrified springs are formed when the calcium-rich springs flow up through the lake bottom & the calcium bonds to carbonates in the lake water.  Together they form calcium carbonate, a type of limestone.  This fragile material builds on itself, gradually forming a tufa tower.  When the lake level drops, the exposed tufa stops growing.

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

We than entered the National Park through the Tioga Pass.  Unaware that we needed 2h to cross the whole park to Big Oak Flat and another hour to reach Mariposa where I was hosted by Paul ‘Bear’ Vasquez aka ‘Double Rainbow Guy’  The Tioga road offers an awesome scenic drive past forests, meadows, granite domes & lakes such as the beautiful Tenaya Lake. Unfortunately I missed the sign of the street where Bear lived when I approached Mariposa and before I knew it, I was i in the town center.  As I drove through, I suddenly noticed a pair of red & blue lights flashing in my review mirror. It was the sherrif who pulled me over for excessive speeding.

Chris, Bear 'Double Rainbow' &  me @ his place in Mariposa

Chris, Bear ‘Double Rainbow’ & me @ his place in Mariposa

I remained very friendly and explained to him that I was looking for a place. He was about to write me a ticket but asked me what address I was looking for. When I told him, he smiled, put his booklet away and said… ‘Ooo, Double Rainbow’ ! Apparently I was the only person who didn’t know who ‘Double Rainbow’ was! He was apparently a crazy famous person. It all began when he posted an random but very enthousiastic video on Youtube about seeing a double rainbow from his front porch.  Check out the video who became a Youtube hit here  or his website  Bear was suddenly a celebrity, invited & interviewed in many live shows and playing himself in several shows. Well, thanks to that, the sherrif kindly explained me the way to Bear’s place but told me nevertheless to consider my driving. I couldn’t believe what just happened… I was so lucky!

Chris & Quan @ Bear's 'Double Rainbow' farm

Chris & Quan @ Bear’s ‘Double Rainbow’ farm

And here I was… At Bear’s place in a beautiful spot in the mountains! We talked about the fact that we hosted both so many people and I understood him completely when he told me he needed a break. But nevertheless, he was so kind to still accept me… He told me he really wanted to host me when he saw what I gave to the CS community. I was honored and appreciated my stay with him very much!
Bear was born in LA and grew up there but moved to Yosemite more than 25 years ago to escape the crazy city life to live a humble but nicer life in nature. He knew the park by heart and gave me some incredible tips.

View on Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

View on Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

Quan had organised to meet some friends in Yosemite Valley to go back to LA the next morning.  Chris remained and so we followed Bear’s advice & would go for some hikes to the Yosemite lower falls & the Mirror Lakes.  We first drove to Yosemite Village in Yosemite Valley where we could take the free shuttles to the different hike trails.  For the horse lovers, there are also horse rides available within the park. Yosemite Valley embraces one of the world’s most outstanding concentrations of waterfalls, granite walls, meadows, wildflower & trees.  The Yosemite Falls give the valley an extra touch of life when it’s flowing with spring runoff while the Mirror Lakes are known for giving a reflection of the domes.

View from Glacier Point

View from Glacier Point

Yosemite most distinctive monument is the Half Dome.  It dominates most views in Yosemite Valley.  Forces of uplift, rockfall, erosion from rivers and glaciers shaped this famous feature into what we see today.    We later drove  to Tunnel View, Cook’s Meadow & Glacier Point.  Those are just a few locations with stunning views of the Half Dome & the Yosemite Valley.  From Tunnel View you can also spot El Capitan, a massive granite monolith rising 3593 feet high from base to summit.

The next morning Chris & I left for Las Vegas. It would be an extremely long ride with many stops, so we left really early, cruised across the park past White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, Porcupine Flat and stopped at the Tenaya Lake again to witness the sunrise…

2 Responses to “Double Rainbow Guy”
  1. Karen says:

    Wish you’d had these up when you were here. The memories they bring back! (Same with Tahoe and Mono Lake.) BTW, you take great pics!

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