Monday, August 3, 2009

Yosemite Trip

Last week I had the opportunity to go camping up in Yosemite National Park. My brother Mike took the week off work and we decided to embark on a mid week camping trip. It was only a three day trip, but a lot was accomplished and a great time was had.

We started our journey from San Francisco at 3 in the morning, as we wanted to get to the campground by 7am in order to ensure a spot in the campground. It wasn't too bad of a drive as we had the mountain tunes rollin and empty roadways. We arrived at our campground (Camp 4) around 6:50 and were suprised of the line of about 20 people that had already formed. We were a bit skeptical but in the end, there was plenty of room and we were set for the next 3 days. It was 5 dollars a night to camp there, who needs hotels? We were welcomed that morning by a large black bear on the campsite right where we were settin up our tent, it really set the tone for this nature adventure.

As we knew we were going to hike half dome the next day, we wanted to keep our first day relatively mild. We decided to do the main tourist infested hikes that still provided spectacular views - Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil fall. This was my third trip to Yosemite, with the last trip probably about 8-10 years ago. I was quite amazed of everything that I remembered.

The Bro's at Yosemite Falls

As i remembered both these falls quite vividly from the past, we took it one step closer this time by hiking up the rocks all the way to the underneath of the falls. I did not have this opportunity as a kid as we were stranded on the tourist paths and probably wasn't physically able to climb up the jagged rocks, not like that im that physically capable now. Being up and close under the fall provides a new captivating view and shows how amazing this water forms are. Being under Bridalveil fall was a pretty amazing sight, we sat under it and ate our protein bars for about 10 minutes just soaking in mother nature.

Yours truly under Bridalveil

After those two minor hikes we wandered around random paths and meadows just exploring the park. Around early evening we decided to head back to the camp site for dinner and to get an early nights sleep. The one downside to this camping trip was the night times. The culprit - our tent. Our tent was a socalled TWO person tent. A very generous claim. Pretty sure it was made for children or height challenged people. Being relatively tall, not being able to fully extend in the tent provided major sleeping impairments, just what i needed before the next days 15 mile, 10 hour hike. I probably cranked out about 3 hours of sleep during our 10pm to 6am sleep span.

6 am came around way to early the next morning and we were on our way to the top of Half Dome. I was stoked for this hike as I knew once I did it, I would feel a great sense of accomplishment, but thats not to say it didn't come without any struggles. A strenuous hike it was but not at all as bad as people make it out to be. But for someone in as bad as shape as I am (thank you college), I worked a bit to reach the goal. It truly was a sweet hike, with some amazing and captivating views all the way up the climb, the peak, and the down climb. It took us about 5 and half hours to reach the top. It was an all around 16 mile hike and took us about 10 hours. The cables at the top were actually pretty fun, and its true, the final cable section looks alot steeper than it actually it is. Below are a few photos from the hike and a little video I put together. All in all, a great hike, and got pretty sore as a result. Another memory in the books. This post college unemployed life sure is a good one.

Vernal Falls

Half Dome(top left) and Nevada Falls

A view from the John Muir Trail

About to head up the cables

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