Thursday, July 06, 2006

Splitting Up is Hard to Do

Yosemite Tramp, Chapter 5

We had a new plan for the day. With a bum knee, we needed to somehow make it an easy day for Jen. We had seen Four Mile Trail from the other side of the valley. It looked worse than Yosemite falls; a veritable switchback nightmare. After much discussion it was decided that the best route to take back up into the mountains was via bus.

Having missed the ticket window the night before, Rob decided to start the day out by running to the Lodge. This was a good two miles from the backpacker camp. At first glance, this might seem like a good idea: last minute tickets require action to obtain. As it turns out, this was a little detrimental. You see, the tickets for the bus cost twenty dollars a pop. It was a tour bus, complete with little bits of information, and full of softies.

Rob and I decided that it would be best[1] if we hiked up the Four Mile trail. We got everything sorted out by mid-morning, and parted ways with the ladies at the bus.

It turned out that we needed to cross the Valley on foot to get to Four Mile Trail. With all the melt and run off, the river running through it was flooded. Incredibly flooded. We had to walk through a good three hundred yards of icy water. Stupidly, we chose to do this in sandals. Keeping those wool socks on might have been a better idea.

The weird thing about softies is that they take pictures of this sort of thing. "Look at the guys hiking through the water with those heavy packs! Jeez, they're real serious over there. Make sure to get me in the picture with them, ma!" The frozen feet, on my part, froze my sense of humor as well. I sort of broke, and double pumped the bird at some grandma[2].

I hope she got that photo.

We hiked up the trail pretty quickly after that. It turned out to be an easier hike, in terms of grade and number of switchbacks. The heat and our pace made it exhausting, though. We really pushed - minimal breaks and high speed walking. We were probably racing that bus.

We hit the top, only to find a visitor center, complete with concession stand. This was mildly disturbing, considering the hike it took to get there, but I suppose people could drive there. They need a destination, beyond a spectacular view.

The Face of Half Dome
Originally uploaded by pschwarz.
We reunited with Jen and Liza (who had, during the day, my camera - she took one of the best pictures of Half dome out of my set), had a sandwich and pushed on.

We still had a few miles to go to get out of the day-hiker zone where we could camp. We hiked along the beautiful Panoramic trail, which passed by a large water fall, and had views of Half Dome along the whole trail. Sloping down along a ridge line, it also provided fantastic views of the valley floor below.

We pushed on about as far as we possibly could that night (another three miles), collapsing at the first (and only) campsite we could find.

It was a bloody long day.

[1] I.E. we were cheap bastards.

[2] Ok, so it was actually aimed at Rob. The grandma in question simply got in the way of a misdirected double-pumping.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geez! Now you're making Grammas cry, too? You said you were a softie (definition 2)! :-)

--L.S., a softie (definition 1) but I wasn't always