Photographer's Note

At the east end of Yosemite Valley are Nature's granite creations as seen in this image - Royal Arches, North Dome on top, and Washington Column to the right.

The Royal Arches were created by exfoliation of the granite cliff face. Washington Column is 1,800 feet in length.

Paiute Native American legend:
Many, many generations ago, long before the Creator had completed the fashioning of the magnificent cliffs in the Valley of the Ahwahnee (Yosemite), there dwelt in the arid desert around Mono Lake an Indian couple. Learning from other Indians of the beautiful and fertile Valley of Ahwahnee, they decided to go there and make it their dwelling place. They began their journey into the Sierra Nevada towards Yosemite Valley, he carrying deer skins, and she holding a baby cradle in her arms and carrying a wono (basket) on her back. When the couple reached Mirror Lake they began to quarrel. She wanted to go back to Mono Lake, but he refused, saying that no oaks or other trees grew there.
In despair, the girl began to cry and ran back toward the Paiute homeland of Mono Lake. Her husband grew angry and ran after her. To escape she threw the wono basket and baby cradle at him and it became Basket Dome (Royal Arches).
Because the couple had brought anger into Yosemite, the Creator became upset and in his anger, turned the two into stone. He became North Dome and she became Half Dome. The wife regretted quarreling and the Half Dome rock wall she had become, began to cry, forming Mirror Lake.
The Paiute's named what we call Half Dome -"T'ssiyakka" meaning crying girl. And if you look closely you can see her tear trails on the face of Half Dome.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1203 W: 1 N: 3169] (13981)
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