Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Road Trip: First Day at Yosemite

   Date      Stop   Odometer           Location                                   Date

6/16/20130209703Caswell State Park, CA8:18 AM
6/16/20131209711Manteca, CA8:36 AM
6/16/20132209837Crane Flat, Yosemite1:00 PM

From Cory's travel journal (revised)

9:04AM- Driving to Yosemite on HWY 120.  Got up early this morning to shower and make a hot oatmeal breakfast.  Used Sara's new camping mug and the plastic cup from my cooking kit to make coffee.  Showers were nice but I couldn't shave because the mirror was tiny, it was vandalized, and there wasn't any light in the bathroom.  Father's Day today so I hope we get a campsite at Yosemite.

Frog poses in front of the Yosemite National Park, California welcome sign

Follow the jump for the rest of the story.  You want photos?  We got 'em!

6:21PM-  We got a campsite!  We are sitting by a nice fire at our site now.  We got to the park at about 11:30.  We registered for the site, but it wasn't ready until after noon.  We took a drive through the famous Yosemite Valley in the meantime.

It was so crowded down there.  We saw all the famous sites:  El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, etc.  They were all nice to see, but didn't give me the same emotional jangle I experienced at Glacier.  

El Capitan, the granite monolith rises above the valley floor at Yosemite National Park, California
El Capitan, the famous granite monolith

Bridalveil Falls cascade down to the valley floor at Yosemite National Park, California
Bridalveil Falls.  The high winds blow all the
water into a mist before it hits the ground.

Yosemite Falls cascade to the valley floor with Frog at Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite Falls.  The top half, anyway.

Granite half dome towers above the valley floor at Yosemite National Park, California
Half Dome, rock climbers' dream come true.

We were hot, tired, and hungry, so we left the Valley (elevation: 4000ft.) and drove up to our campsite (elevation 6000+ft.)  It was a difficult drive for our car, but we made it.

Our campsite is not awesome.  It's between two busy roads and is on steep, uneven, dusty ground.  We found a level(ish) place for the tent, and put ALL food in the bear-proof food locker.  The policy of the park is to not leave any food out or in the car.  Apparently the bears at Yosemite regularly break into cars if they smell food.  We cooked spaghetti for lunch (by now well after 2:00PM).  

Bowls of spaghetti and park pamphlets cover the picnic table at Yosemite National Park, California
Camp spaghetti over the charcoal chimney

After eating, we took a short nap because we were both so drained.  Maybe it's the heat, maybe the elevation, but we don't have much stamina today.  Our plan was to take a short nap, go for a relaxing hike, and hit the camp store.  We slept a lot longer than we had planned, and only had time (and strength) to hit the camp store for some chocolate for s'mores.

We made chili and rice for supper and enjoyed a nice fire built from a small fallen tree I found near the campsite.  A young velvet mule deer buck was eating some plants near the campsite, oblivious to us.  We ate our s'mores and went to bed at 9:00.  It was dark and we were tired.

Cory saws a fallen tree for firewood at Yosemite National Park, California
Cuttin' the tree

Rice cooks over a bed of coals in a black pot at Yosemite National Park, California
Boilin' the rice

Chili and rice cook in a black pot over a bed of coals at Yosemite National Park, California
Hittin' the chili

A mule deer buck with velvet antlers watches the campsite from nearby at Yosemite National Park, California
Seein' the deer

In the night, our BRAND NEW airbed deflated from a pinhole leak. C'MON!  Give us a break!  F---in' California!

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