White Wolf

Trip Start Aug 04, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, September 1, 2008

Today I headed west from Tori and Rod's towards Yosemite.  We had a big breakfast and I wasn't terribly hung over, but I still felt a little sketchy - I knew my head wasn't 100%.  It was going to be mostly highway and main-route riding, but I found myself constantly looking around and checking the mirrors and thinking about the things a rider should never think about - that one moment of inattention or miscalculation and I'd be Escalade-fodder.  I went the speed limit for a while (i.e., slow), then pulled off and seriously thought about calling it a day.  I just had one of those feelings. 

Well, a bottle of Gatorade later and I felt good enough to continue - still carefully - and things got better after that.  But if I hadn't felt better, I would have stopped.  You need to listen to those feelings when you're riding.
I got to Yosemite in the late afternoon, and decided that the valley - the main attraction - would most likely be booked solid, so I headed up the ridge on Tioga Road, to White Wolf campground. 

First sign of trouble:  a roadside sign that read, Elevation: 8000 ft.  Well, I had sent my real sleeping bag home, and only had my 'tropics' bag with me, and it got down to freezing that night, and I was pretty unhappy all night, bundled up in many layers of clothes with the bag pulled over my head and still freezing.  When I woke up, there was ice in my water bottle.  As in, most of it.  Now I know why they call that campground White Wolf - the wolf was freaking frozen!

But a hot breakfast at the lodge got me moving in the morning, and I did a great hike in the Yosemite Valley that day (up to Nevada Falls on the Mist Trail, then back down on the Muir Trail), and spent the night in a platform tent in the valley.  This was a cool set-up. 

Yosemite a valley that is surrounded by very steep cliffs and waterfalls - very scenic.  Not so much water right now, as California is in the midst of a terrible drought.  There's also a lot of additional wilderness, etc.  But it seems that mational parks are generaly based around geological curiosities, the more scenic the better.  This is how everday nature is preserved:  it's marketed based on its most photogenic elements.  The rest of the animals and forestes are just along for the ride.
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