Yosemite National Park

Trip Start Sep 25, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, September 28, 2012

Summary: Hiking though huge mountains, deep valleys. Met cheeky squirrels, camped under massive redwoods, great views, very cold nights.

Shrnutí v češtině: Po 3.5h cestě jsme se dostali do národního parku Yosemity, kde jsme v kempu strávili 2 noci. Stejně jako v minulém kempu jsou všude cedule, že venku je hodně medvědů. Veškeré jídlo a toaletní potřeby se musí zamykat do velkých plechových beden. Smradlavé ponožky údajně medvědy nelákají a mohou zůstat v autě nebo ve stanu. V Yosemitech jsme si udělali pár výšlapů. Všude je plno obrovských hor, stromů, vodopádů a drzých veverek. Medvědy jsme nepotkali. V noci byla zase pěkná zima, tak jsme si na sebe vzali prakticky všechno co jsme sebou měli.

We had a 3.5 hour drive into Yosemite National Park to Crane Flat campground. It was a gorgeous day. We stopped in a little hardware store to try to get a 2nd camping mat for M. A lovely old guy in the store was so helpful. We explained that we only needed something basic for 2 nights as we were flying away again and he offered us big sheets of bubble wrap. Tempting but we worried that the noise might attract bears ;-) He also told us we’d see the landscape getting greener as we drove around to the other side of the nearest mountain range. From the entrance to the park we then drove another 100km to the campsite which shows the scale of the park. The drive was beautiful with spiky mountains, forests, lakes. The campsite was huge and we had lots of space for the car and tent although the ground was a very fine orange dust that dirtied everything. Each individual site has its own picnic table, campfire and bear box where everyone has to strictly lock away all food and anything scented like shampoos, soaps, baby wipes, sun cream, hand gel and even bottled water. M asked what about smelly socks but apparently bears aren’t fussed on them and they could stay in the car.

The last people had left a bag of instant charcoal so we had a camping lunch of tinned stew, tinned spaghetti and meatballs- surprisingly lovely. We were surrounded by huge sequoia trees aka Californian Redwoods. The main area within the park is Yosemite Valley. This valley was formed when a massive glacier carved its way through the rock between 250,000 and 1 million years ago. Famous landmarks are Half Dome and El Capitan (a massive sheer cliff face which is a mecca for extreme rock climbers). With the naked eye it’s not possible to see rock climbers on it but with the telescopic camera lens we could just about see them, like tiny ants. Lots of people were using binoculars to try to spot them. It takes these climbers a few days to scale the cliff face and they even sleep suspended up there on their way to the top.

We had a little walk from Curry Village to Yosemite Village and J had a quick dip in the icy cold river. Free shuttle buses circulate constantly around the valley and are great. We paid $5 for a hot shower in the valley, saw a few deer and drove ˝ hour back up out of the valley to our campsite for a dinner of tinned chilli beans & some red wine before bed. It gets dark really quickly and is pitch dark by 7pm so by 9pm the campsite is totally quiet with everyone asleep.

We totally froze again that night and M had a bad throat. In the morning we drove back down into the valley for a full day hike up to Nevada Fall. This was a challenging enough hike of 4 miles uphill and 2.5 miles down the steeper side. There were lots of people and we heard many people speaking Czech. Views were amazing and photos won’t really do the place justice. The top was lovely with small river pools around the rocks. Everyone was lazing around, paddling their tired feet and sunbathing beside the top of the waterfall. The way back down we had to watch every step as it was easy to slip on loose gravel. J tripped in a small crevice and skinned her knees a bit (but was a big girl and didn’t cry). We drove then to Tunnel View at sunset for a fantastic view point. We went back to camp, ate dinner of tinned spaghetti and wrapped up even more tonight. As an example J was wearing leggings, shorts, trousers, 2 vests, 2 t-shirts, a hoodie, a fleece, a coat, 2 pairs of socks, a woolly hat and was wrapped in a sleep sheet, sleeping bag and blanket – and still froze!

We were cold, dirty and smelled of smoke from the fire. We were really tired and very much looking forward to getting to Jacinta’s cousin Siobhan’s house in San Jose about 180miles away.
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