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Yosemite August 2015

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Offline RichardM

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Yosemite August 2015
« on: January 02, 2016, 10:15:14 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to get this report up. This past August my wife, daughter, and I headed out to California for a few days at Yosemite National Park. We had already planned the trip before I got laid off and decided we could use a break so we went anyway. The airline tickets were already paid for and non-refundable, so off we flew to Reno. We spent the night in Carson City, and headed off to Lake Tahoe early the next morning. Checked out the lake briefly before heading South. Lunch was at Nicely's Diner in Lee Vining. We entered the park at the Tioga Pass entrance. We hiked a short ways down the Mono Pass trail to stretch our legs. Found a couple of nice meadows.



We stopped off at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center to buy a map and a copy of Best Easy Day Hikes along with a good map. The guide was well worth the money.

Tuolumne Meadows was up as our first hike.



Lembert Dome was up next. The hike starts off through the trees.



Kind of breezy on top.





This became Jennifer's signature pose for the trip. Guess she's moved on from Randell's trademark Travolta.



Our lodging for this trip was the Mother Lode Lodge in Mariposa. It's a small, old property in need of remodeling. See if you can guess which review was mine. Mariposa is a nice little town with some decent restaurants and shops, but the 40 mile drive into and out of the park each day got old. Nice twisty road was kind of fun, but the girls would whine whenever I went into race driver mode.

We headed up to Glacier Point to start our first full day in the park. The Tunnel View was very smoky, as there was a fire or two on the North side of the park. Up top it wasn't a whole lot better in the morning.



Not sure which stitch is better. My Canon A3300 doesn't have a panoramic stitch mode.





After enjoying the view with all of the other tourists, we hiked up to Sentinel Dome. Obligatory family pic:

« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:56:12 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 10:44:14 PM »
After soaking in the views, we headed off towards Taft Point. Some day the whole point is going to break off and end up down in the valley.



I'm not sure Susan and Jennifer knew I was taking their picture, as Jennifer wasn't in her usual pose.



Better try a second shot zoomed in.



I went out to the ledge on the left of this shot. Sat about a foot or two from the edge. I would have dangled my legs over the edge if Susan hadn't been squawking at me. Should've done it anyway.



Here's the view straight down.



Here's the panoramic view. Trust me, it's a lot more awesome in person.



We caught the shuttle bus back to our car at Glacier Point. Views into the valley were clearing up.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:55:18 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 05:06:13 PM »
On the way down the Glacier Point Road, we stopped off at McGurk Meadow. This was a great little hike into a very nice meadow. Super peaceful. Would love to see it with spring flowers.



Someone was kind enough to use this historic cabin as their latrine, I assume because peeing in the woods would have been far too traumatic. We declined to check out the interior thanks to the touron.  :icon_rolleyes:



Susan's happy place.



Not used to trees this tall.



We stopped by the Merced River on the drive back to the motel.



Dinner was at the Happy Burger Diner. Ate there later in the week as well. Jennifer highly recommends the chocolate shake.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:54:42 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 05:34:43 PM »
This was my first trip using trekking poles. I had picked up a pair of Mountainsmith Trekking Poles for $40 + tax before leaving Houston. Didn't get to use both of them the first day as Susan and Jennifer kept borrowing one. Picked up a comparable pair of Kelty poles, albeit with foam grips instead of cork, at one of the park gift shops for a couple of bucks less. Go figure. The poles would help my gimpy knees to survive the next day's hike, the classic Mist Trail. There was a steady stream of people going up and down the trail. When we got to Vernal Falls, Susan kept on going while Jennifer and I stopped to enjoy it for a while. Even with the relatively low flow, there was a constant thunder and mist in the air. Can only imagine what it would be like at full volume.





Upstream from the falls.



Susan continued on up to Nevada Falls, while Jennifer and I turned right onto the John Muir Trail. It only had about 5% of the traffic on the Mist Trail.



Nevada Falls from the John Muir Trail.



On the way back to the motel, we noticed a funky smell. Turned out jennifer had taken her shoes off. We stopped off along the Merced and washed them off a bit in the cold water.



« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 02:53:31 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2016, 05:55:16 PM »
The following day we hiked the Mirror Lake Trail. the "lake" wasn't exactly full, but had enough for a view namesake views.



Here's a 2 image stitch.



Another stitch.



We continued past Mirror lake on up to the bridge over Tenaya Creek, fighting gnats and flies all the way.



I think I had just swallowed a fly when this picture at the bridge was taken.



Apparently this is where they teach the cairn building class.



After some shopping and snacks back at the Village, we did the short Yosemite Falls trail. The falls were but a trickle.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:25:16 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2016, 08:12:42 PM »
Our last major hike was to Illilouette Falls from Glacier Point.

Lightning made this tree into a cool photo op.



Nice views of Half Dome, Vernal Falls, and Nevada Falls.



Above the falls.



We continued down the trail a ways to see if we could get a view from above the falls. Couldn't see the pouroff, but got a good view of the creek.



Susan headed back to the car, while Jennifer and I enjoyed the falls.









Jennifer and I went off trail out to just above the edge of the falls, but you couldn't really see them from there.



However, you could see a good photo spot at the top center of this pic.



Illilouette Falls.



Off the trail on the return hike.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:35:23 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 09:03:41 PM »
Can't remember if I've posted this pano yet.



We finished up the day by driving over to the Wawona area. Did a short hike up to Chilnualna Falls.



We headed over to the Wawona Hotel and did the Wawona Meadow Loop Trail. Lots more tall trees. Too bad the Mariposa Grove of redwoods was closed for restoration.



The Wawona Motel looked like a cool place to stay, but we gathered most folks staying there are not using it as a base for exploration. Maybe they were all golfers. Seems everywhere we went, we got the same looks from people, who seemed to be thinking "OMG, they're hikers!" We had accumulated a fair amount of trail dust by that time.

The next morning we headed North. Had lunch and did a bit of antique browsing in Jackson. Jennifer found a car she wants me to buy for her when she is old enough to drive.



We spent an hour or so up at Lake Tahoe. Jennifer and I waded out a ways into the lake while Susan took off for parts unknown.





We drove around the west side of the lake and had dinner in Tahoe City. I had hoped to work in another hike, but Jennifer nixed that idea. We headed on to our motel in Reno for the night. The following morning we had some time to kill before our flight. Again, Jennifer didn't want to hike, so my idea of heading back to Lake Tahoe and hiking up to the top of Mt. Rose was nixed. Jennifer wanted to go some place close by that had water, so we headed South to Washoe Lake State Park. The brochure on it in the motel lobby looked promising for a morning excursion. When we got there, we had a hard time spotting the lake. Turns out the drought had left it dry all season. We romped around the lake bed for a while before heading back to Reno. Here's the boat ramp.



We stopped by Huffaker Park, which was shown as a green area on the map. Not so much in person. I did a short loop to see if there was anything other than plain rocks to see. Nope.



Jennifer was bemused by this wildlife display in the airport. Apparently deer in Nevada hide from panthers in holes in the rocks.



The End
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:43:22 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Zopilote

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 06:57:42 AM »
Great report and pics. Looks like everyone had fun.  I did like the HufakerPark shot. It reminded me of somewhere.  I'm just a hopeless, flatland ,desert rat.  Just yesterday, i saved this pick as my desktop.  Thanks

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Offline catz

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2016, 10:22:35 AM »
Very nice, Richard.

I noticed Jennifer only raises her left leg.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2016, 10:42:26 AM »
I noticed Jennifer only raises her left leg.
I made her try the right leg, but she couldn't hold it.

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 11:07:10 AM »
Great report!  You guys had an awesome adventure!

We loved Yosemite. We visited the park as part of our 2014 Western Loop; we did 5 nights out on the Porcupine Creek trail to check out North Dome, Indian arch, the falls and just spend some time in it. Our views of the valley were obscured by the El Porto fire at the time, but the forest was great. I did learn that hiking at elevation can really take it out of you and quick.

Oh this makes me pine for another road trip! Here's a neat tree we encountered; the explanation I got was that the top shoot was affected by fungus and a secondary shoot took the top spot, after coiling around the dying one:

Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline mbender

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 05:03:45 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to get this report up. This past August...

LOL. Shame on you for taking so long!  :eusa_naughty:

Thanks for the report and pics. Love the pano's. I've never been to Yosemite and these pics have me chompin at the bit. The really nice part is, you seemed to have escaped the crowds.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Yosemite August 2015
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 08:37:26 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to get this report up. This past August...

LOL. Shame on you for taking so long!  :eusa_naughty:

Thanks for the report and pics. Love the pano's. I've never been to Yosemite and these pics have me chompin at the bit. The really nice part is, you seemed to have escaped the crowds.
Not always...

The Mist Trail up to Vernal Fall was a virtual conga line of tourists.

 


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