Yosemite or Bust, literally.

Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
Trip End Sep 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, August 24, 2009

Modesto, CA to Yosemite

I'm on the way to Yosemite, which is only a couple hours away but school is in session and that slows me down since I’ve passed through a dozen school zones.  The rest of the ride goes by quickly and I arrive at the park by mid morning, now the decision for campsite needs to be made.  Do I drive down to Yosemite Valley and take the chance they are not full or stay up in the more isolated northern part of the mountain? The northern area has a few less frills, no showers and pit toilets, but it would be guaranteed spot since it is about 45 minutes from the valley.  I choose the more remote location, Tamarack  Flats which is about 3 miles from the main road, located at the end of this spine-buster (that would come back to bite me).  I pick a nice spot that is located at the top of hill next to this giant boulder and once set up head into the valley to assess the territory.

The valley contains all the central elements for the park, grocery, shops, campsites, showers and you can take buses to all the major points within the park, saving wear and tear on your joints and car.  I make it down to the valley in thirty minutes but I can tell that the area is packed, it’s a beautiful day and everyone is cramming in the last minute visit.

A good amount of the Yosemite landmarks can be seen from the floor, Half Dome, El Capitan and trails for the upper and lower falls can be accessed as well.  It’s very easy to get around, whether walking, biking or busing and if you need a break you can sit in the shade outside the deli or grocery store.
I took a break and met a geneticist from New Zealand who came over for a conference and stayed an extra week.  She told me about an area on the south side of Yosemite called Glacial Point, which has an excellent view of the upper valley around sunset.  Forty five minutes later I was at the point enjoying the great views and soaking up the last few minutes of daylight.

After the sunset it was time to head back, knowing it would probably take a lot longer to go down the mountain at night.  As I turn off the main road, onto the spine buster, I make a promise to the car and myself that we will amend this situation in the morning.
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