Yosemite is a really popular destination and while I knew that, I actually didn’t realize you need to book one year in advance if you actually want to stay in one of the three hotels in the park. I booked six months in advance and managed to get the last camping spot in the entire park. I was told it would be in Housekeeping Camp which was more of a massive tented city where campers shared a structural tent separated by a wooden wall in the middle. The walls and door were made of canvas and the front flaps were tied together for privacy at night and to keep the bugs out. As the ties to my side were broken they did neither; no privacy, and tons of mosquitoes. It was very basic to say the least and resembled more of a jail cell than anything else. Staying in House Camping Camp was good in the sense that it motivated me to get out and shoot. Up at 3:30 to head out at 4:00, no problem. Stay out all day, no problem. Head out to shoot at night and stay until the early hours, no problem! The first day we spent 22 hours out scouting, hiking, shooting and just enjoying the views. The few hours sleeping at the end of the day was like being in a coma so the camp surroundings hardly mattered in the end.
Traveling around Yosemite with someone like Michael, who as a conservationist and photographer, was the best experience I could have asked for. He was able to show me things I would have never seen or found on my own and as well treated me to a rare opportunity to visit Ansel Adams' original studio and home. Ansel died at the age of 82 in 1984, but he used the studio well into his 70’s and often held workshops there. The Ansel Adams' Gallery is now run by Ansel’s grandson and is built on the original property where visitors can buy Ansel Adams’ prints, cards and original signed photographs, as well take photography and walking tours. Visiting the original home of Ansel Adams and looking at many of his beautiful signed photos was a perfect way to end an amazing journey.