I grew up about a three hours’ drive from Yosemite, so I’ve been there probably a dozen times or more. And my family has always been in the horseless carriage hobby (pre-1916 era cars), so I’ve driven around more remote back roads than I can count, and as far back as I can remember, through northern California, Oregon, and Nevada. It’s one of the unique experiences that defines my childhood, and gives me a continual touchpoint to some of the fondness of my youth as I continue to participate with my family in this activity now that I have a wife and child of my own.
Somehow, it took over 30 years for us to take the cars into Yosemite, but that all ended last month with the 2009 Ryan Ramble, a Horseless Carriage Club tour my younger brother puts together annually. It was Yosemite as I’ve never experienced it before: climbing the high passes and cruising through the valley floor with the top down in a Model T was epic.
Below Left: Left pedal: all the way down is low gear; halfway down is clutch/neutral; all the way up is high gear. Center pedal: reverse. Right pedal: brake. The throttle is the lever on the right-hand side of the steering wheel; the lever on the left is the spark. Below Right: Yes, Virginia, that’s how you start it.
Below are some long-exposure night pictures from my sister-in-law. Top: midnight long-exposure picture in front of the classic valley view from the Wawona Tunnel overlook (source of light at upper right is the moon). Bottom left: our friend’s speedster emerging from the Wawona Tunnel. Bottom right: some of the cars parked near the base of Yosemite Falls.