Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sequoia & Yosemite, camping gone incredibly right

Day 1: Sequoia National Park.
  • hiked Redwood Canyon
  • giant Sequoias really are on the big side
  • camped Sunset site near Grant's Grove
  • ate instant lasagne, decided it needed more noodles
  • made s'mores in a pot wrapped in foil, discovered that makes graham crackers soggy, ate 2nds regardless
  • drank "Sequoia Red" beer in honour of the trees and blueberry beer in honour of the bears
BEG for scale at the base of a Giant Sequoia
(we shared camera duties, I didn't seem to perk up on clicking until later in the trip)

Day 2: Yosemite National Park.
  • departed Sequoia at the crack of dawn in PJs with hot drinks in hand and no food in bellies
  • arrived at camp 4 in Yosemite early, secured a campsite, set up, napped, and ate lunch accompanied by Sierra Nevada "summerfest" beer in honour of the mountains and the season
  • learned that the girls whose car we had seen broken into by bears in the parking area when we arrived had accidentally left mangoes in their car overnight
  • hiked Mirror Lake loop, found out that it is a meadow and no longer a lake, marveled at sedimentation rates
  • bought ice and butter
  • made awesome camp dinner of miso followed by soba noodle stir fry with peanut sauce, ate both out of squishy bowls
  • drank more beer, not sure which...
  • made s'mores over the fire and drank chili hot cocoa
Entering Yosemite Valley

Walking through practically minuscule trees on the Mirror Lake loop trail

A Yeti print in the flat scoured face of Half Dome, as seen from the Mirror Lake meadow

Day 3: Yosemite Valley.
  • rose early, crammed down oats & caffeinated beverages, packed snacks & H2O
  • spent the day hiking half dome, this totaled 27.5 km in distance and 1.5 km rise in elevation (and then fall in elevation on the way down)
  • tried really hard not to die
  • was grateful to the Leki trekking poles I got for my b-day
  • felt heroic and admired the views
  • returned to find our site virtually empty, the family we shared with had left after their van got broken into by bears (reason unknown)
  • drank Anchor Steam summer beer, ate copious amounts of spinach fettuccine smothered in marinara sauce and mascarpone
The last grueling climb to the top

The view from the top of Half Dome

Day 4: Yosemite Valley.
  • slept in
  • had scrambled eggs & goat cheese for breakfast with fried pita toast
  • checked out Ansel Adams gallery, geology display at visitor center, snuck into showers at Curry Village, picked up more fuel and pitas at store
  • returned to camp and met new neighbours, decided that they sucked and would probably have their car broken into by bears that night
  • went for light strolls and scenic drives to Glacier Point, McGurk Meadow, and Bridalveil Fall to stretch the legs a little
  • drank apricot Hefeweizen in honour of summer
  • ate miso and spinach fettuccine with salmon cream sauce (I told you we rule camp dinners)
  • our neighbours looked on jealously from their beans out of the can and coors light
  • they accused us of "out-camping" them
  • played Uno with them, and beat them, BEG 2 games, me 1
  • went to bed early, was disrupted by screams and rubber bullets in the night when a bear ventured into camp and people shrieked and they and the rangers scared it away
A view of Half Dome on the way to Glacier Point, I think it looks like a penguin.

View from Glacier Point, I drew in our Half Dome hike.

Scenes from McGurk Meadow

Bridalveil Fall (a little on the dry side)

Day 5: Yosemite (Tioga)
  • rose early to pack up camp and make hot caffeinated beverages
  • drove out of the valley and up towards Tioga Pass, scoped out a new site at Porcupine Flat ("excuse me, are you guys leaving? can we have your site?")
  • discovered the immense difference in temperature from the valley and rapidly found warmer clothes to wear
  • made oats and packed up snacks and water for lunch
  • set up camp and zipped off to the Cloud's Rest trail head
  • hiked Cloud's Rest, met lots of friendly people, looked at the mobs on Half Dome through binoculars, took jumping photos, detoured via Sunrise Lakes on the return, soaked in the gorgeousness unrelentingly
  • went for a dip (it took much coercion for me to get in), flicked teeny leeches off our feet, hung our underwear off our backpacks to dry and returned to the trail head for a Fat Tire beer
  • total distance: 25km and 1km in elevation
  • returned to camp, put on warmer clothes, built a fire, drank Strawberry Blonde beer and ate soba noodle stirfry with peanut sauce
  • made s'mores on the fire, drank chili hot cocoa
  • fabulous
An arete peeks (peaks HA) through the trees on the way up

The view of little Half Dome and the smoke from a fire from the top

Friends on the trail

Our swimming hole

Day 6: Yosemite (Tioga)
  • slept in until 7am, packed up camp, made oats and hot caffeinated beverages
  • set off for Tioga Pass via the gorgeous Tuolomne Meadows and stopped at Ellery Lake just past the park exit
  • met 2 attractive intelligent young men and chatted with them while also getting directions from them back to the Bay area (where they were coincidentally from), regretfully departed and cursed the cities we live in for their lack of attractive intelligent young men
  • stopped at the trailhead for Bennettville, a silver mining ghost town
  • did the short hike and played the role of geology nerds the whole time
  • drove back into the park for a snack and the long road home
  • at Yosemite Grill, happened across attractive young men again, were elated, snacked and chatted about hiking, climbing, poo, life, and everything for an hour or so
  • giggled the whole drive back to Palo Alto, had dinner with BEG's supervisor (who was kind enough to host us for that evening and give us a shower and indoor facilities for the night)
  • drank Raspberry Brown beer and Stella Artois with Hungarian stew for dinner
Tuolomne Meadows (rather dry this year)

Ellery Lake (where the boys were)

The view from the Bennettville Silver Mine

Message on my car from the boys


Dawn said...

BEST CAMPING TRIP EVER! Hee hee - test dirt from Canada - hee hee. I'm still overwhelmed just looking at the pictures.

Brenda & Cam said...

Awesome, especially the parts about beer (sadly no beer pictures posted though).

Kilometres said...

HO-LY CRAP, that's an incredible camping trip! I'm in awe of how much you two accomplished.

You both make me wish I was a geologist. Why? Because they are the only people I know that go on such amazing hiking trips. Way to make the most of a short amount of time!

And thanks for sharing it all. It sounds like it was unforgettable.

gnat said...

I know! we did so well on this trip! it RULED all camping trips ever before.