I'm back! Did you miss me? - YOSEMITE REVIEW

by 00DAD 46 Replies latest jw experiences

  • 00DAD

    My wife, the Hungarian Goddess, and I just returned from a wonderful one week vacation in Yosemite!

    I've been many times as a child and young adult, but haven't been for 17 years or so.

    It was the Hungarian's first time.

    We camped in White Wolf, which is a couple of miles off the Tioga Pass road on the way to Tuolemne Meadows.

    The weather was wonderful outside of the valley, mid to high 80s °F in the day, low 50s at night. The whole experience overall was just amazing. Words cannot adequately describe it, which is why later I'll try to post some pics.

    We did lots of hiking in both Tuolemne, around our camp in White Wolf as well as at Olmstead Point. The nice thing about Olmstead Point is that you can look into Yosemite Valley from the opposite end that most visitors see. We also went swimming at Tenaya Lake near Tuolemne. There is nothing like swimming in a clear mountain lake to refresh and revitalize your soul!

    The only disappointing part was our one day visit to Yosemite Valley. Last winter had less than average snowfall so the falls were low. Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake were completely dry. Bridalveil Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls, although low, were still impressive. It was also very hot, about 109 °F in the afternoon.

    But the worst part was the crowding!

    This was not the Yosemite Valley of my childhood. The valley is as beautiful as always, but the ridiculous amount of people really spoiled the experience. Particularly disappointing was our hike up to the base of Vernal Falls. Those of you that have been there know, the last 1/4 mile or so is a fairly steep granite staircase about four feet wide. On the mountain side is a near vertical rock face, on the river side is the same nearly vertical drop. Were you or anyone to fall off the staircase (there is no railing on most of it) you would fall 30 or 40 feet onto ragged granite boulders in the river bed.

    On my own, I feel perfectly comfortable climbing the hike to the falls. I've done it several times in my life and was really looking forward to sharing the experience with my Hungarian Love Goddess. But this time it was so crowded I felt like I was in the local mall the week before Christmas. It wasn't just the number of people attempting the clime, but the kind of people climbing that added to our discomfort. There were hugely obese, out-of-shape people attempting a strenuous hike that they were clearly not in condition to make. There were men and women wearing flip-flop sandals instead of appropriate hiking shoes, or even tennis shoes! There were little kids 3 and 4 years old running along the path with mom and dad nowhere in sight. Young men and teenage boys bounding down the path at break-neck speed (which in and of itself would probably be fine if it weren't for the overcrowded conditions--I was 16 years old once myself on this very trail!) completely unconcerned about anyone else on the trail, no regard for trail etiquette or even basic good manners. Several times groups of "hikers" coming the opposite direction would be walking 3 or 4 abreast on a trial only wide enough for that many in a single direction. Frequently I was bumped by others coming the other direction. Simply put, the majority of the people on this trail simply had no business being there.

    As I said, I was not worried about own abilities as hikers. I'm fairly sure-footed and only become somewhat nervous of heights when I get around 100 feet or more above a certain death should I fall. My wife is about the same, perhaps just a little more nervous of heights.

    But we were both constantly worried that one of these inexperienced, unprepared, incompetent and/or simply reckless fools should slip, trip, bump or otherwise fall and take us with them. So we abandoned our plans to go to the top of the falls and returned back down from the bottom instead.

    My advice: visit Yosemite, but beware the valley's crowds. Yosemite is so much more than just the valley. Anywhere and anywhere in the park you go will reward you with natural wonders beyond compare.

    For my wife, the highlight of the trip were the views from Glacier Point. She described it this way, "Breathtaking!"


    BTW - If you didn't notice I wasn't around for the last week, please don't tell me you didn't miss me. My fragile ego couldn't handle it!

  • poopsiecakes

    I went to Yosemite last fall and loved it. My sister and I stayed in Camp Curry and I agree about the crowds, even though we were there in shoulder season. All that aside, it's truly gorgeous and worth any effort it takes to get there.

    (I missed you, darlin )

  • Quendi

    I certainly missed you, 00DAD, and am glad to see you back. So, you and your other half were in Yosemite? How I envy you! I have yet to visit but it is on my bucket list. For me, the time to go will be either April or May, when the falls are full and the first spring blossoms are in the trees, or October for the autumn colors.

    My favorite national park to visit was Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park which was only forty miles from my home in Boulder. Now I’m living in Alabama and the nearest park is Great Smoky Mountains, about 250 miles away—not too far as a Westerner would reckon it. I haven’t been there since 1980, but am planning to go next year.

    I’m looking forward to your posts in the forum.


  • 3rdgen

    Hi 00Dad, Hint for the future: If you're going to leave us for a week the least you could do is say you were sick or something. A swell vacay like yours just makes petty folks like me jelous!

    I thought back to the last time I was at Yosemite. It was 30 years ago and I was 7mos pregnant. About 60 JW's took 3 adjoining campsites. All happened to be very cool peeps and it turned out to be a blast. EXCEPT the potty situation was a bummer-especially in the middle of the night. I had to literally step over/on dozens of sleeping bodies to get to the restroom.LOL

    Looking forward to those pics!

  • ziddina

    Oh, crud, this brings back memories....

    We went to Yosemite Valley once, in the late 80's. During that trip, we ran into:

    A Saudi-Arabian guy trying to start a fire with soaking wet wood...

    An Hispanic family playing that damm accordion music until curfew - 10 PM - in the campsite.

    An obese woman hiking a trail, wearing so much perfume that I could have tracked her by the smell for at least a quarter-mile [and while we're on the subject, that is ALSO a BIG problem on the trails around Boulder...]

    Someone brought their pet cat - in one of those huge RV's - lost it in the middle of the night. The poor cat was wandering through the campsite crying for help, so we took it into our tent. Within an hour, its dum-dum owner finally started looking for it, so we hollered at them thru the tent and returned their cat...

    A group of scruffy hikers washing their socks out in the river... Yuk!

    My overall impression was that Yosemite Park SHOULD have gone ahead with their proposal to have everyone BUSED in, which would have weeded out quite a few of the greenhorns and city slickers, as they would have had to WALK everywhere in the valley - except perhaps some bus service to certain trailheads...

    We did manage to do that hike you mentioned without getting knocked off the trail. But we were visiting during the off-season - I can't remember whether it was May or November, but it got below freezing in the valley and there was frost on our tent when we got up in the morning.

    Sounds like you had a decent trip in spite of the crowds...


  • ziddina

    Oh, and yes, I'm sure everyone missed you....

  • palmtree67

    Yosemite is on our "To- Do" list while we're living here.

    Thanks for the review.

  • Balaamsass

    It has been over 15 years for me. Half dome is a hike I will never forget...that cable is the bomb. The backcountry is amazing. Done all the Valley hikes, and rim hikes, and some of the back country....but it has become so crowded it takes the fun out of the trip.

    There are lots of other trails in California much less used. Glad you had a great time and we missed you!

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    Glad you had a good time! I want to go soon.... I go away for weeks at a time for work, vacation reasons so I'm not on the daily who is here club

  • jamiebowers

    Welcome back! Please post pics.

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