Yosemite – fire and change of plan

The initial plan was to go to Yosemite, Kings canyon and Sequoia national parks over 4 days. It was a bit of a race, but we really didn’t have more time and from what I gathered on the internet and with friends, it was enough. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, Kings canyon and Sequoia are burning down pretty bad… In fact so bad that the smoke even propagated to Yosemite! The parks were open but the campgrounds were not and the air was unhealty. We decided to spend all our time in Yosemite, and it was a very wise choice! Not only did we avoid the toxic air that would have probably killed my allergy-to-everything prone eyes, but we got to see more of that gigantic Yosemite forest.

Driving from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite took some time, plus the campground and the trail we wanted to hike were at the very end of the road. We only got there to set up the (clean!) tent and go to sleep. The next day we woke up to a beautiful camp site right next the trail head, under huge trees. We hiked the Mist trail and went a little further. By the way it was not “misty” at all, all the waterfalls we saw were nice, but not the awe inspiring cascades they are in spring when ice melts down! We passed the Vernada falls where most people stop after a steep uphill walk, the Nevada falls and called it a day at the Little Yosemite Valley. Originally, I planned to hike to half dome, Yosemite’s most iconic trail (which requires preparation as it should be scheduled on two days and is very strenuous, people fall and die every year), but I missed the permits sale a few months before… I still wanted to go to the bottom of the half dome and see people climb it, but I caught a fever and a bad caugh at Burning Man. Adding an extra 10 miles to our already long hike was sadly no longer an option… So lots of but… Look it up on google though, it’s super cool! We ended up having lunch at a distance but in front of the half dome, entirely alone, which was very nice and definitely good enough.

The Nevada falls

The Nevada falls

On the top of the Vernada falls.

On the top of the Vernada falls.

The half dome from Little Yosemite Valley.

The half dome from Little Yosemite Valley.

On the way back, Silvère decided to walk bare feet, just cause, and loved it so much he didn’t put his shoes (well, flip flops) back on until the very end where it’s a paved road. He then said: “they’re such a luxury”. I could never decide which one of us is the worst hippie but he clearly beats me down with that!

The bare feet hiker.

The bare feet hiker.

The next day we were supposed to go to Kings canyon, so we had no established plan (exceptionnal if you know me well). We ended up going to Glacier point to go on a short trail. Things adding up to one another, we hiked over 10 miles of trails and got a mesmerizing 360 degres view of the valley… On a trail that’s barely advertised and could be achieved in under an hour! We walked through very different areas, exposed, cliffs, forest etc… and saw some very interesting angles of the park and new summits. We were so glad that we got to spend more time there! Leaving after only one day would have been a shame. We camped in a different location that night, camp 4, with rock climbers almost exclusively (who all became my friends when I gave away the last pack of beers we were not going to drink). It was smaller than the previous night, and “wilder”, which was pretty cool. There were big boulders in and on the borders of the camp, probably the reason why rock climbers go there! I really wish I had brought my climbing gear…

Tunnel view

Tunnel view

View from the top of the short hike around Glacier point.

View from the top of the short hike around Glacier point.

In the forest.

In the forest.

Silvere cooking aligot!

Silvere cooking aligot, a regional french dish I’ve been craving for!

The 3rd day we went on our last hike of the week. We were “promised” bears, aggressive mountain lions, fearless rattlesnakes, plague infected squirrels, beautiful views and a gigantic waterfall. We were quite focused being the only ones on that trail, which could be dangerous, but we saw none of these scary things. Apart from obese squirrels making as much noise as dogs and huge lizards crossing in front of us all the time, there was nothing. It was a long, monotonous, annoying hike… You just walk up in a freakin’ exposed forest (how is that even possible?) under a super strong sun. There was barely a waterfall at the end and wasps did not let me have lunch in peace, but the last half mile was actually nice and pretty, with pools of water at the summit. The walk down felt like it was never ending and maybe as boring as the way up… It was pretty, but the landscape did not change for miles…

Sunset from the road

Sunset from the road

We spent our last evening in Fresno, checked in at our hotel and dived right away into the swimming pool to cool down after the evil hike. A good 15 seconds passed and a police helicopter began to circle our hotel while a cop mumbled who knows what on a megaphone. “MmRrrrrrMmmmrrrmorrmmmorm”, how threatening! Kinda like the announcements in the NY subway. Again an again and again… We were waiting for them to shoot in the pool but after their 10th round they must have caught the bad guys or given up. I will miss you USA!

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One thought on “Yosemite – fire and change of plan

  1. What a beautifully written and funny narrative! You captured this trip so well. Your values and your spirit- so dear- shine right through the writing. America was very lucky to have you….

    Like

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