Saturday, July 6, 2013


We weren't one of those families that camped or backpacked. My mom did her best to take me to the park across the street most nights, Capitol and McKinley Parks on weekends, and an occasional train ride to play in Golden Gate Park. But we never really made it to anywhere that might count as wilderness. 

This past year, I've been doing my best to make up for lost time. Last summer's road trip up the coast, Julia and I hit the redwoods and the coastal parks. This spring and summer, Neil and I have gone to the foothills, Tahoe, the central coast redwoods. And last weekend, finally, to Yosemite. 

I knew Yosemite would be beautiful, but I had no idea just how beautiful. The sheer contrast of the valley and the mountains so closeby, the trees, rivers and waterfalls. 

Since my MRI came back normal, and what I really need is rest to heal what ails me, I figured it would be a great idea to backpack for three days. I knew it probably wasn't a good idea, but I wanted so badly to go to Yosemite with Neil before he leaves, since neither of us had ever been. And of course, I didn't want common sense or logic to ruin my fun.

We started out Friday morning after staying in the backpackers camp in the valley, on one of the most popular trails. From Happy Isles, we hiked up to Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail, having accidentally gone off the John Muir Trail which we meant to take. We continued up to Nevada Falls, eventually taking the Panorama Trail to Illilouette Falls then down to Illilouette Creek to camp. All told, about 9 miles and perhaps 2500 feet elevation gain over the day. 

On the second day, we took it easy, hiking up the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point about two and a half miles to see the views. In the afternoon, we swam in the creek.

Vernal Falls

View from Panorama Trail

Day three took us back up to Glacier Point, then down the Four Mile Trail all the way down to the Valley. By the way, it is actually 4.6 miles. About halfway down to the valley, my leg really started bothering me. 

All told, it was one of the best weekends I've had. I look forward to many more, you know, once my leg is better. 

Glacier Point

Almost done, on the Four Mile Trail

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