yosemite out and back again

This was what, three weeks ago? getting dangerously close to the fluid present, in any case. Sophie was out of town this weekend, off to do work things on the east coast, and I had a weekend free to do whatever I wanted. I realized it would be a perfect time to do a quick overnight in the sierras, see what Yosemite had to offer. I had a new camera to break in and get used to, and time to burn.

So after brunch and a stop for gallon jugs of water, I started driving east. There are a couple ways to get out there, the northern route on 120, which takes you to tioga pass and switchebacks down to the valley proper or the southern route, which goes through Merced to 140. I was headed for some campgrounds on 140 that are first-come first-serve, hoping to get lucky.

And, as luck would have it, there was one tiny spot open at the first campground I stopped at. Just big enough for my little two person tent and a chair, basically. I got my tent set up and went down to the river to put my feet in the water. I sat there and read my book, there being no cell signal, for maybe an hour, and then got up to go back to the tent and sit there and watch the clouds.

Unfortunately, instead of being high and pretty and harmless, they were a storm coming in. I rushed to get the fly on the tent and hopped inside. Then I had to get back out and re-tie the fly down to bigger rocks; the wind was gusting to maybe 30mph in the canyon, just wild. I sat in the noise of the wind and the rain, waited for it to blow out. Just sitting, alone, in the middle of the storm, can’t see out of the tent because the rain fly went all the way to the ground.

Got up in pretty bad shape, as my ground pad wasn’t holding air; made some coffee and some breakfast. Freeze dried biscuits and gravy, which is actually really palatable. Drove for a half an hour and I was in the park. Walked around, saw some things. Took a bus to a trailhead, hiked up to mirror lake, which is neither mirrored nor a lake; really a wide spot in Tenaya Creek. A nice hike though, with options that kind of get you away from the crowds.

Then, after a quick stop to buy gummy bears (the best gummy bears in the world are hte ones in the gift shop in Yosemite National Park, I don’t know how they do it, it’s some local confectioner), I drove home.

Posted by Matt on 2023-09-10T07:43:04Z GMT