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Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties (1868) by John S. Hittell

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BRIDAL VEIL.

The Bridal Veil, or Pohono fall, is on the right side of the valley, two miles from the lower end. It is the only cataract visible to the tourist while approaching or leaving this wonderful chasm, and it forms an important part of the views from Inspiration Point and from Komah Rock, and these are essential elements in the general ideas of the place. The fall is about 1,000 feet high, and the body of water is usually in June about seven!y feet across. In consequence of its great hight, and its position where the valley is wide and the wall nearly straight for a considerable distance, the fall influences, and is influenced by the winds greatly, and strong gusts blow about it, carrying the stream from one side to another, “making it flutter like a white veil; hence [says Whitney] the name, wbich is both beautiful and appropriate.” The stream falls upon the talus, which is there two hundred feet high or more, and a heavy mist surrounds its foot. Beautiful rainbows can be seen here every clear afternoon. The stream, after striking the talus, divides into three branches to reach the Merced. Travelers not unfrequently go up into the gusts and mist, but they do not report very favorably of the pleasure of the adventure. The best view of the fill is obtained from a point half a mile to the northeast. Starr King gives his impressions of Pohono, thus:

“As I think of it, I lose quickly the impression of the widening of its watery trail before it struck the rocks to thunder from them; I do not dwell either on the fascinations of its ever-melting and renewing tracery, nor on the brilliance of its iris banners, that are dyed into its leaping mists and flying shreds; I can recall for my supreme delight only the curve of the tide more than eight hundred feet aloft, where it starts off from the precipice, and the transparency of its vitreous brink, with the edge now and then veiled with a little curling misty vapor, when the wind blew hard against it, but generally tinged with a faint apple-green lustre.”


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