Last week while in Yosemite I have to admit beyond obsessing on Moonbows I was amazed how high the Merced River water level had risen. I found myself returning to the same spots over and over to see how high the water was going. Almost every trip I make to Yosemite I can’t help but visit Swinging Bridge. Normally the bridge is well above the river and in past summers I’ve rafted under it and even seen some folks jumping from it into the river below on hot days. The day I arrived in Yosemite Valley I was blown away to see the water topping the cement columns that support it and rushing against the steel girders below the walkway (approximately 10.5 feet above flood stage). To my amazement the bridge was still open so I warily ventured out to get some perspective photos.
Note: I didn’t have my levitation boots with me so I had to extend my tripod with my camera on 10 second timer out as far as I could without dropping it into the water inches below.
The next morning the bridge was officially closed. Waterfalls were flowing at peak levels and the river continued to rise. It’s tough to make out at this size, but the water at this point in time was mid way up the steel girders supporting the wood on the walkway of the bridge. Even though there was tons of water at this one spot the flow of the water was smooth so it was easy to get a mirrored reflection. Note to the right is a flooded picnic area. Half the picnic benches were submerged.
I didn’t venture to the far side of the bridge as the entire meadow beyond was under water. Of course submerged meadows also made for surreal photos. More on those later.
[tags]Yosemite, National Park, California, photography, pictures, stock photo, flood, Merced River, Swinging Bridge, landscape, nature[/tags]