With about a day before departure, deciding on the right vehicle was upon me…
My childhood friend invited me to Yosemite to do a quick backpacking trip. He wanted to take pictures with equipment he had. Never turning down a good adventure, I was in! I offered to drive. Thinking a pickup would be great to haul our bags in and then we’d hit the trail. But, Looking at the weather and seeing sub freezing temps, having no reservations, and a chance of snow. I rethought my vehicle choice. This sounded like a perfect situation for the RV!
Friday morning in the East Bay was a beautiful blue sky day. Normal traffic and accidents. But I still showed up at my friend’s at the planed, 9am. After an hour of rounding up clothes, bags, camera equipment, and camping stuff, we were packed and out the door. A quick stop off at Trader Joe’s, 2 bags full of food and beer and we were set!
More accidents and traffic put us on side roads. Slow going but quite fun! I love twisties 😉
About 15:00, Yosemite park was ours (along with thousands of other people). The camera quickly came out. And with good reason. The Merced River was raging! All the rain this winter changed somethings there. Creeks were now rivers, waterfalls were spotted all over the canyon walls. Meadows were now marshes. Massive trees up rooted with 15 foot tall (wide) root systems. But vibes were all good. It seemed business as usual to the staff. I was told it was not that crowded, I’d hate to be there when it is!
We had are pick of trails, to get our Backcountry permit for.
We decided to camp at Little Yosimite Saturday night. In the office while we were deciding, we over heard a family asking the rangers, where the animals slept. As if, they were in a zoo…
Needless to say, I was looking forward to climbing out of the valley.
Having brought the Rv, we had a Base. We could arrange our belongings, make food, go to the bathroom, glamping!
With our bellies full and bag and bivi in hands, we bussed over to the Backpacker’s camp for the night. The bus driver told us the bridge that we need to cross is re-opened. It was underwater the night before. We found our way to camp and a nice tree to sleep under. With in minutes, I was out.
There’s nothing like waking up and nature being the first thing you see. I walked around and saw in the day light, all the “damage” that the creek (now river) had caused.
We walked back to the RV (getting to know our way around). Quickly gathered up our stuff and realized our one bear can wasn’t big enough for both our meals. We decided to just spend one night out, and off we went. Crowds and crowds of people and beach cruisers (the bike rental of choice) swormed the valley floor. It took a few miles before we had moments of just nature. Once we were on the last stretch, there was finally peace and quiet.
I was needing to find something to do while the Cannon was busy on tripods and belted carbon fiber trollys. That was done by looking for the perfect walking sticks. By the time we got to camp, I had exchanged a couple already.
Little Yosimite Valley camp was along the Merced River (a calm part!). Downed trees had formed small boundries for camp sites. Other downed trees scattered the ground too. But still many were standing. I quickly sat down and started whittling the bark off of my new walking sticks. Once satisfied, it was time to eat.
There was a communal fire ring and it was a pleasure to meet and talk to the other campers form all over the country and Europe too!
Deep sleep came again quickly and in the morning I quickly found that I had a limit less choice of walking sticks!! By the time we left I had whittled at least 7 different sticks 🙂
I had my favorites and left the rest. I realized that walking a technical down hill with two large sticks is no fun. We stopped again for the Cannon to do it’s thing. I was feeling cold and wanted to keep moving. So we said we’d meet back at base (Rv), and I was off.
On our way up we had noticed a guy running down the switch backs, yelling at people to move out of his way. At the time I thought he was rude and crazy. Now heading down there same trail, I learned he was just rude. It was way easier on the knees to move quickly. In no time at all, I was back at the RV. Sitting on my couch eating and drinking a cold beverage. It felt great! Around 3 hours later my friend showed up. Carrying all his camera equipment and feeling it! We took our sweet time and cought the last bus to Backpacker’s camp. There was no way i was putting shoes back on!!
The next morning we slowly rounded up our things. I was kinda bummed to be leaving. We had the option to have spent the third night in the backcountry. But with the forcast claiming snow, we probably made the right choice.
How to sum up such a quick trip? Well, I’m happy I packed light. Yosemite is, well, big! In the valley, everything looks huge. Towering rock walls surround you. Massive waterfalls can be seen hundreds of feet up. The only drawback is the crowds. They’re big too!