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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 74 - Yosemite National Park / Yosemite Falls Hike

My Yosemite visit started on the afternoon of Day 73 with my chance look for a camping spot for the night.

When I got to the south Yosemite tollbooth I sawed my pass and asked if there were any camping available.  She told me that they had been told that there were som cancelations at campsite 4 and Upper Pines.  

I drove into the park and stopped in at the camp office at just after 3:40 pm and stood in line to find out.  After 2 people in front of me getting camping spots I was told that there were 5 camping spots and I could get one.

The only reason that I got a spot was that there were cancelations of registrations.  This national park is so popular so if you want to stay here get a reservation.

I drove over to my campsite and checked into the camp hosts.  After checking out the site and ate I went out for a look at the area around the visitors center.

I went to the store and but was crowded and I asked the young woman that checked my purchase of Gold Fish snack if it is always busy and she told me that it has just gotten that way in the last week.  

I went back to my campsite and was eating some cerise for a snack before bed and a woman ranger approached my site.  Her and her partner go around at dusk to check the bear food lockers.  She noticed mine was open and suggested that although I was at it that I should think the doors are refrigerator doors and close them.

I had my cooler in the locker with my power cord from the car to the box.  I explained what I was doing and she wanted to see my Prius modifications and asked if o was an Engineer.  I can't run away from that question.  We then started talking about my travel, hiking, & podcasts.  It turned out that she likes many that I do.

Our conversation turned to the podcast serial that recently finished its first season.  She was frustrated with the ending of the series and she had not heard that the court had ordered Anon a new trial.  She was happy.

I was keeping her from her rounds, so she had to move on.

This morning I left the campground before the sun came up and drove to the base of Yosemite Falls as I chose this as my climb today.  I had seen another hike but something called me to want to climb all the way up to the top of Yosemite Falls again like I did last year.  

After getting my roadside spot to park I had about a half mile walk to the trailhead.  The trail takes 6-8 hours road trip and as sends about 3200 feet.  The top is over 8,000 feet above sea level and this stressed my climb last year as I came from sea level last year.  This year I have been hiking higher elevations in Utah so I hoping to have it easier.

I was one of the first to climb for the day and I passed many others on the way up.  The last switchbacks kicked my butt last year and this year it was much better.  I also learned from last year to bring 1 liter for each thousand feet as I ran out of water last year.

I past this bird that kept close to me look hung for a handout.  I guess other hikers feed him, but no food from me.

On the way up you have a wonderful view of the upper falls.

Then from time to time a view you can frame.

Closer to the top you can catch the watt as it comes over the top of the mountain.

This sign greets you at the top showing you the way to other destinations.

The views are great from here.

This is the overlook area to the valley.

When I got to the top I may have been first for the day and I soon met K, a woman who had climbed yesterday and stayed the night up here by herself.  I was impressed by her doing this the first time by herself not to mention a difficult climb.

She had all the gear with nice backpack, tent, sleeping bag & pad.  When she got her backcountry pass they made her take a bear canister to put her food in.  I guess no more are the days of hanging your cash from a limb.

We had a very nice conversation about her career being an architect and her travels.  As it turns our she has traveled many places in the world and also has studied meditation.  This is the second woman on this trip I met that studied meditation.  It was very interesting.

We hung around on top by the river and the overlook where she picked up water for the way down and purified it with a UV pen.  

It was eventually time for both of us to head down.  K was headed back to her current home in the San Francisco area and I to find a campground outside the park nearby.

Our walk down brought us past many people trying to make their way to the top.  Some in flip flops, others with insufficient water, and ones that were tired from climbing before the base of the upper falls.  

I gave a an extra bottle of water I had to some folks on the way up with insufficient water.

We also passed some views that you don't have a tendency to see as you are making your way up.

In the morning the sun isn't right for a rainbow but come afternoon it is right and very nice.

K and I parted ways at the trailhead as she parked in a remote parking lot and needed to take the shuttle and I was parked a half mike down on the side of the road. 

What a traffic mess trying to leave the park about 4:30 pm.

I went to a campground that I had been to last year but the tent camping area wasn't very good so I left for greener pastures.  After thinking I may have to drive to a city for a motel I found this nice county park (Don Pedro Recreation Agency) for $18.00 a night with nice hot showers.  A shower was the first thing I did when I parked in the site.

I was the only camper in this part of the park.  With only one bar of service I could text and randomly get and send a mail message, but nothing strong enough to be able to blog.

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