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Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9

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avatar JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 05:54PM
Continuing my TR on my recent 9-day Yosemite adventure, this thread covers Days 8 & 9 and finish. I had so much stuff I had to spread it out over separate posts.

Linkies to the whole enchilada:
Intro and Days 1 & 2
Days 3, 4, 5
Days 6 & 7
Days 8 & 9 and finish
Plants & animals

Fri 7/26 – Day 8

Morning walked back to Curry Village.

I had a breakfast with me for that morning, but I decided to indulge in a big plate at the Curry cafeteria. A lotta food for $8.25:

Bought a freeze-dried dinner for that night at the mountain shop (I already had other meals for the next 2 days), took the Valley bus to the Lodge and from there got the 10am GP shuttle. Originally I was thinking to hike up the 4-Mile, but sleeping in a little and taking the shuttle for $25 seemed a whole lot more attractive. Got a frozen fruit bar at the GP snack shop, took a quick gander from GP itself – I was chuckling to myself at how close everything in the Valley looked. On my visit last year I was stunned at how high GP is above The Valley, but after my recent views from the tops of CR and HD it was amusing to me how low GP suddenly seemed.

Then I hit the Pohono Trail. Poor visibility this day, a lot of smoke from a nearby fire had settled into The Valley.

But the trail was beautiful

Took the detour up Sentinel Dome, I was up there last year but how could I just walk by it? So up I went.

Then Taft Point and the Fissures.

Here’s a short vid with an interesting view from Taft, though if you are unnerved by heights you might want to skip this one:

From Taft I went on down to Bridalveil Creek. Saw some folks wading/swimming here and I couldn’t resist, so I stripped down to my undies and waded in.

Right after this pic was taken I was coming to the bank to climb out and I jammed the ball of my left foot hard against a large submerged rock. I knew it was there, I was trying to step up on it, but I think the creek’s current pushed me closer to it than I thought I was, so I ended up slamming my foot into it.

I hit it right on a blister I had since Day 1. Hurt like hell, but I figured that’s just from the area already being tender. I wasn’t looking forward to hiking out on it throbbing like that. Then, when I got out and was drying off I noticed the bottom of my foot was bleeding. Uh oh. Not a lot, but still. So I got out the FAK and cleaned it up and was about to dress it when I looked more closely at a small dark area that I had thought was just bruised skin. I’ll spare you the pictures, but I discovered it was a small rock embedded in my foot. Uh oh again. At first I thought it was just a flat, rounded flake, figured it would be easy to pry out, but it didn’t budge. The top of this rock was below the level of my skin, and it was anchored in. I began wondering how deep it was and what I might really be up against. Uh oh again. I had to perform a little field surgery to loosen around it, yes that hurt but not as much as having it in my foot with every step for about 9 more miles. Eventually I pried this out of my foot:

It’s about the size of a broken-off pencil point, but fatter. The harpoon-like point was downward into my foot. It actually wasn’t as gruesome as it all sounds, but it did have to be dealt with. Just glad it wasn’t an inch-long spike or something like that. Anyway, cleaned it up and dressed it, and it wasn’t too bad to hike on – don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t too great either, but it was tolerable. Interestingly, it got to the point where it didn’t hurt at all to walk on it but then it throbbed like hell if I sat down and took the weight off of it.

Then on to Dewey Point to camp for the night. From Dewey, Cathedral Rocks and El Cap:

I camped right out on the point.

Whatta view!

Beware if you camp here: rodents are everywhere, and when the sun goes down they come out to play. While it was still light I had set up the tent and gotten the “bed” set up, rolled back the mesh door because it was such a nice evening, took some sunset pics and set up to heat dinner.

As it got darker I started seeing things zipping by out of the corner of my eye, lots of small mice-like critters. Went back to the tent for something, and as I was rummaging around something not particularly small scurried by me around behind my quilt! Inside the tent. Big enough that it’s body moved the quilt and pad as it scurried by. $%*@&!!

I pulled back the pad and quilt and found some kind of fairly big rodent huddled in the corner. Not sure what it was, a pound maybe more, so I doubt the word “mouse” is right. Rat? Pika? I’m fuzzy on the details, didn’t spend a lot of time studying the darned thing, but it had rounded ears, light gray or tan fur, long pointy nose, I don’t remember about a tail, and in a different situation it might even be considered cute. But not that night. I went around the outside and kicked the corner of the tent where it was huddling and watched it run out of the tent and under the rocks right out on the very tip of Dewey. Zipped up the mesh for the rest of the night.

Sat 7/27 – Day 9

Final day.

Only about 7 miles, rendezvous with Mike at Tunnel View set for 2pm. Continued the Pohono to Crocker Point.

Then Stanford Point.

Bridalveil Fall was hard to make out from Crocker and Stanford, I was there in the morning and I guess you need afternoon light to see the waterfall more clearly.

Had lunch at Inspiration Point.

Descended to Wawona Tunnel. The Pohono is a nice hike – several stunning overlooks but maybe a few too many miles of forest in between, this together with transportation issues on the Tunnel end make it a pretty quiet trail (once you’re past Sentinel Dome). Was a nice way to end my trip, slow my pace, enjoy the solitude, appreciate the trail. It’s billed as a “mostly downhill” trail (from GP), but in reality it has quite a bit of up and down along the way – Crocker is nearly the same elevation as GP. The big descent is mostly in the last 3 miles or so.

And the last mile or so of the trail is rough, lots of just broken rock, reminded me somewhat of the top part of the Mist Trail along Nevada Fall, though not that consistently treacherous. I stepped from the trail into the parking lot at Tunnel View at 1:59pm. Mike was caught in traffic, he arrived about 20 minutes later. Allowed for me to have a nice short sit in the shade to de-compress. However, Tunnel View was very crowded, and the hustle and bustle and noise and intrusiveness and obesity of the civilized world came back at me like a punch in the face, all the tour buses and rented RVs and gawkers spread out below me. The noise in particular was just jarring. I couldn’t believe how alien it all felt.

Mike greeted me with a cooler full of a selection of chilled beverages and a couple of towels and cold water for a sponge bath. Now is that hospitality or what? I met lovely Bee as well, and we had a nice drive back with a stop to look at some old barns and then Priest Station Cafe for burgers. Back at Mike’s I took a shower and ran a load of laundry.

Sun 7/28
Mike cooked breakfast for me, taught me how to peel a grapefruit, and shared his secret recipe for homemade lemonade. We drove back to Sacramento that morning for my noon flight home and Mike had some things to tend to there, so it worked out well.

That was my trip! If you have read through all this then thank you, I hope it was worth your time.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2013 09:25PM by JRinGeorgia.
Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 07:43PM
That rodent/rat has a name - Johnny Manziel.

By the way, this is the most incredible collection of photos
I've ever seen on this site. Spectacular!
Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 07:48PM
Thanks for a fabulous trip report!
avatar Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 08:21PM
It was very nice to meet you, Joel (Billy); it made the drive back very interesting (pondering heavily still about your illness, and I, too, believe that what began as dehydration further escalated into AMS, as one sometimes begets the other in certain circumstances)

I do love all the sunset pictures, as they seem to reflect my own paltry collection of pho-toes (not much of a photographer, myself, but I will take the time for sunsets)

I suggest that you look into creating one of those Flicker photo journal books (they will publish your photo/posts anyway you format them) to share with your friends and family (and to enjoy and a great coffee table archieve)

PS the lemonade recipe evolved quite a bit from the original hyper-sugared version given to me by a client!

The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2013 08:22PM by Bee.
avatar Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 09:56PM
Thanks Dave and Katy. I had a lot of fun.

Bee, so nice to meet you as well. No need to fret over me, as you can see I beat back my demons and recovered fully to top Cloud's Rest right on schedule. In fact when got up there I remembered the quote below. Your lemonade recipe is safe with me (real safe, I think I forgot it). Um, one part Crystal Light and one part Mountain Dew, is that it?

Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.
- Dag Hammarskjöld
Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 07, 2013 11:24PM
I'm glad you decided to do the Pohono Trail instead of Four Mile and/or Panorama. As I mentioned when we met on the trail near Cathedral Lakes, Pohono is one of my favorite hikes in Yosemite. Looks like you noticed and enjoyed all the major features of the trail: the grand vista points, lush mountain ferns, meadows, and forests, and a swim in Bridalveil Creek.

I enjoyed reading about your trip!

Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 08, 2013 04:30AM

I hope you tell us that you have 30 years of photography experience and
an 8 million dollar camera. This will give me a couple excuses when my
shots from the upcoming trip pale in comparison.

23 days and counting
avatar Re: JRinGeorgia's TR: 9 Days in Yosemite, Days 8-9
August 08, 2013 06:48AM
@Dave, I use an old point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix. Had it five and a half years, it's beat to hell. I nearly bought a new camera for the trip, actually I did buy one, but then I returned it 'cuz the one I have still works fine. It doesn't take HD video, that actually was one of my main motivations for a new camera, to consolidate to one device. In the end I decided to carry the extra weight of a Cisco Flip video camera and re-pocket the money ($200+ to save 5oz?).

As for the pics, Mother Nature does the work, I just push the button. ;-)

Now you have Yosemite plans and I don't -- I'm jealous.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2013 11:06AM by JRinGeorgia.
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