Vernal Falls and Bavarian Music

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Upper Pines Shitest Campground Ever - $20

Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, October 5, 2008

The worst thing about being in a bad camping, with noisy neighbours and lots of puddles is if you have to change to another space the next day due to overbooking!

This park is so popular that camp spaces are booked five months in advance so we need to keep moving around to stay around. We decided two nights would be sufficient in this disney camp place. The worst part comes with the mix of tents with RV (those large vehicles in which Americans take everything from the microwave to satellite dishes - no joking, the guy next to us brought out 3 dishes for one night stay!!). When cooking time comes you have one thousand campfires and additionally another thousand RV engines going on noisly...there is no way of living the wilderness in these campgrounds...

Anyway, given we had to change our tent at noon we decided on a short two hour walk in the morning and a longer one in the evening. As you will observe from the photographs we did:
- Lower Yosemite Falls in the morning and were disappointed to see that the waterfalls were reduced to a trikle of water a this time of the year
- Upper Vernal Falls in the afternoon (a three hour hike up the mountain).

Now we expected lots of really overweight tourists in the first walk given you can park your car next to them if you want, but we did not expect them collapsing the trail up to Vernal Falls in the afternoon. Most of them did stop walking half way there, but there were still sufficient making the experience terrible for any nature lover.

The problem is that the park in order to attract dollars has made the trails "walkable" by putting asphalt all the way there and steps when there is any difficulty...there is even safety barriers at some stages. So it takes people like us, that want to see nature and not a load of tourist groups shouting and taking pictures at every corner, more than two hours walk to get away from the crowds...its terrible and its not even August!

In any case we continued and made it to the top. It was well worth the walk (at least for us)...not much for the female hiker that was in front of us and slipped on a rock and then started crying. When asked if she was OK she told us she had shoulder surgery the week before so she would probably have to get operated again...So what exactly was she thinking when she was climbing rocks with a walking stick? God knows...

We indulged in another shower before dinner, and were amazed to go into the grocery store to buy some stuff and hear that they had Bavarian music on. It was the Munich "hofbrauhaus" song! Incredible...We asked the attendant if the owner is German and she told us "no, and I hate the bleeding stuff...its on for hours. It drives me crazy!"

We ended the day with a huge campfire with the left over wood that our neighbours (workers from Wal Mart) left behind for us (enough wood for 3 nights) and enjoyed some nice chili con carne...perhaps not the best food for a night in a tent!

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