Jason, I also think you are naive if you thought you would pop into Yosemite Valley on any given day that was convenient for you and have an Ansel Adams moment. You're lucky if some little skin head didn't tag the side of the car with spray paint while you were being reflective and serene. Problem number 1 is there are too many people on earth. Problem number 2 is there's no workable solution to problem number 1. #3 it's getting worse each minute. #4 is we are all depraved.
The fact that there's a park at all is a small miracle.
Sorry about your tripod.