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Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

The Moon is Waning Gibbous (83% of Full)


Re: What's the Big Idea...?

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What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:04PM
After the previous weekend's injury-aborted trip (yes, really, Raley's...), I was definitely looking forward to getting out--even for a reasonably easy recovery hike.

But, before hitting the trail, an obligatory float in Tenaya Lake was in order.

The water was too cold for swimming... except for JKW, for whom it was just about right.

After mini-Fleet Week, we hit the unofficial Mt. Watkins trail. Despite our best efforts, the larger erratics could not be budged.

Introducing No-Longer-A-Newbie and Little Newbie

The unmaintained segment between the Snow Creek and Tenaya Lake trails showed signs of, well, recent trail maintenance, in the form of several cut logs. No complaints.

Shortly after crossing the Tenaya Lake trail, the party split, with a few of us checking out the views from Wahoo Dome.

From Wahoo I could of course see Tenaya Canyon, last weekend's goal... next year.

Not by accident, on Wahoo we ran into another yahoo, reliving a more successful Tenaya Canyon trip from the previous weekend. Lone boulder, doggie bush, down, got it...

We returned to Mt. Watkins proper and headed towards Half Dome.

We all eventually converged on our pre-arranged campsite, where we hung out and enjoyed dinner as the sun sat. Photosynth.

We tolerated our nontraditional views of Half Dome.

The sky was very clear as the sun disappeared below the horizon.

Although the mostly full moon would soon rise, we did get to enjoy some dark sky.

Despite it being fall, the nighttime temperatures were quite mild.

The night was calm... until about 5:00 am, when a very strong wind took over. We didn't sleep much after this, and quickly packed without really having breakfast, soon retreating to a hopefully more protected area.

Near the top of Mt. Watkins, we stopped for a more formal breakfast, after which I went to grab the "call of nature bag"... and couldn't locate it. After emptying our packs and coming up empty-handed, the yahoo and I returned to the campsite while the others headed back to the car. At the campsite of course we found it--as you can see in the picture above.

Yahoo wanted to dale around Wahoo a bit more and check out an airplane engine or somesuch; I chose to take the safer trail to Olmsted Point--I mean, Tenaya Canyon is no supermarket parking lot, but it still can be dangerous. Along the way were a few trees in full fall colors.

I took a deliberate detour to check out Hidden Lake, but the others had arrived at Olmsted, so I turned back toward the overlook.

The ridge above Hidden Lake had some nice classic Yosemite views.

And just below Olmsted Point were a few nice aspens turning colors.

In our rush to pack in the wind, I neglected to get a picture with the pink bird... so this will have to do.

Original recipe or extra crispy...?

More Pictures
avatar Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:17PM
I am still laughing at the use of the word dale as a verb. Perfect!

Glad to hear that you are back on the trail. Avoid those parking lots!
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:26PM
"At the campsite of course we found it--as you can see in the picture above."

All I see is a really nice picture taken from Mt. Watkins.
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:50PM
If you can open a bigger version of the pic, near the base of the tree you will see a plastic bag with white in it. Or a white-ish plasticky looking blob. That's my special toilet kit, with a nice little bottle of Purell, my favorite toilet paper, little zippy bags, and my now-dear-to-me Deuce-of-Spades in yellow. I was SO happy the guys went back and found it! HUGE THANKS to both of them!
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:52PM
Okay, I zoomed into that version of the pic.. yah, it's hard to see the blob. it's not right at the base of the tree, but one step down from the base, against another rock. It's like finding Waldo...
avatar Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 09:01PM
"At the campsite of course we found it--as you can see in the picture above."

All I see is a really nice picture taken from Mt. Watkins.

Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 09:13PM
Well done!!!
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:47PM
Little Newbie is 6 now. She's a Yosemite veteran, however, and has stayed in the park on and off every year since she was 6. She's done the Lodge, camped and hiked all over now. This was her first backpacking trip. We were supposed to take her out to Rancheria earlier this year, but a rockfall days before sidetracked that plan and her mom "No-Longer-A-Newbie" ended up knocking off a pretty awesome trip to El Capitan instead as her maiden voyage!

Well flash-forward a few months and the timing and weather worked out, and well, we added her along on a long-planned trip with L (73 years young) and his wife E. L has been on several trips with us in the past, including the GCT earlier this year. This trip now constitutes the biggest age range we've hiked with. And I am so happy such a variety of people can come together and enjoy a shared experience like this.

Little Newbie really enjoyed our play time in Tenaya Lake! Basilbop, NLAN, and I all took her out for a spin in the boat. I think that the start of the hike was a let down at first... she was a bit mewly for about 2 miles, but then, when we started to go up, she got into her happy zone and showed how good a little hiker she is! Zipped up to the top and was never mewly again! In fact, she was super easy to deal with on the rest of the trip. Most excellent.

This trip was originally planned for E. I'd never had a chance to hike with her and we needed something that would not stress her knees out. She seemed to be doing just fine, thank you and zipped up the hills! And such a lovely spot... The cherry on top was when Chick-on said he could drop by Saturday night - it was a lovely little reunion evening!

Of course, Chick-on was the only one oriented properly at night.. so when that wind kicked up in the morning, he was safely feet-first into the wind! Note to self: check the bird's orientation. Adjust accordingly. The wind was unexpected because none of us remembered reading about wind in the forecast... until after the wind started, when I realized I'd read about red-flag warnings at home starting at 5 am. But I found it odd that the wind started just about 5 am where we were... quite some distance away... The rushed morning and not eating a real breakfast (skipping coffee) threw me and somehow I let the toilet kit fall out of my backpack. Sigh. Yup, that was my fault.

But no harm, no foul, no littering... Yay. That was what I was most concerned about. I am very careful about LNT..

What a lovely weekend with great people! Fabulous way to start the good-bye to summer in the high country!
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 22, 2014 08:54PM
And I should have pointed out that Little Newbie kept saying "What's the Big Idea???" the entire trip. Hence the title. We started throwing that back at her! She may have been questioning a lot of things, but she sure as heck soaked it up and basically went with the flow. Very adaptable. Really cute.
avatar Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 23, 2014 07:12AM
Yes I Do. tongue sticking out smiley

It really wasn't THAT windy...

for Z Old Stick N Bones Owna...
tongue sticking out smiley

Anudder great weekend+ goofing around ...
Found an Erratic too... smiling smiley

Season is never over

Have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: What's the Big Idea...?
October 23, 2014 10:03AM
Definitely wasn't saying the season is over.. just that summer was over.. but I LOVE fall hiking and winter snowshoeing and XC skiing, so yah, the "season" to be outside is never over! Yay! Looking forward to almost a week in the Valley for Thanksgiving with friends and family again. Woo hoo!
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