We headed to Curry Village to make breakfast and get some coffee
before doing the approach trail to Snake Dike, in preparation for climbing it with our
friends Gretchen and Jax the following day.
We figured we save ourselves some time by making sure we knew exactly
where the climber’s trail breaks away from the main trail… sometimes finding
these can be tricky. We began hiking
from Happy Isles, following the Mist Trail past Vernal Falls and Nevada
Falls. The trail to Vernal Falls
involves a lot of up hill, with a long section of steep stone stairs. From Vernal Falls to Nevada Falls the terrain
is a less steep due to the switch backs in the trail. After reaching Nevada Falls we stopped to
eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we packed.
After Nevada Falls, the trail mellows into a gravel/sandy
path as it heads towards Little Yosemite Valley. After a few minutes of hiking, we knew we had
missed the climbers trail based on the geography, so we turned around and
watched more carefully for the trail.
While checking what we thought could be our trail, Alex caught a shoelace
on a branch across the trail and took a fall, dragging the branch with
her. As she caught herself with her
hands, she heard the familiar rattle noise coming from off the trail to her
left. “Glad I didn’t fall over there!”
she thought. Sorry mom :o)
After retreating and finding the real trail, we continued
along it until we got close to the boulder/slab areas near the base of Half
Dome. Happy with finding the approach,
we turned around and began our descent to The Valley, this time, partly via the
John Muir Trail. This trail though longer, was less steep, but was like a
slanted, pokey cobblestone road… not the most pleasant to walk on. It did, however, provide spectacular views
of the falls below.
It was Dave’s turn to be the grumbly one, feeling drained
and tired of being in the sun and heat.
WE spent a great deal of time talking about icy drinks when we got back
to The Valley floor. Despite Dave’s
grumbles, he encouraged others who he said looked as grumbly and disheartened
as he felt. A small boy was walking up
the trail with his parents, and we overheard him say in a tired and defeated
voice: “I’m done, this is good enough, I just want to turn around now.” Dave responded with, “You don’t want to do
that! You are SOOOOO close! You have MAYBE 20 more minutes and you will
be there! The view is awesome and there
is a pool of water I bet your parents will let you cool off in!“ Dave hoped his little pep talk would
In usual Dave style, towards the end of the trail, where it
became more “touristy” he perked up a bit and began running towards the
trailhead. When Alex met him there he
bought them frozen fruit juice bars from a concession stand while Alex dumped
gravel from her shoes… remembering why she usually doesn’t like to hike in
shorts. The bars were a fantastic, cold
treat that helped make the walk back to where they parked in Curry Village a
bit better. In Curry Village, Dave ran
into the store to buy some Gatorades while Alex saved them a table. Dave returned shortly with 3 bottles of
Gatorade… one almost empty. Alex began
drinking one, and before long all 3 disappeared.
Next, we headed to Glacier Point to see the views of The
Valley from high above, before continuing out the Wawona Entrance to the park
to find a place to sleep for the night.
Tomorrow, we headed to Fresno to get new brakes on the car. Thoughts of Fresno are always a bit bitter
to us. On our first trip out West, after
an epic climbing/backpacking outing with the infamous Doug, all we wanted was a
big juicy cheeseburger and fries. Fresno
let us down… it seemed sketchy and we could not find anywhere open to eat but a
place that proved to have nothing but chillie and cheese… chillie cheese fries,
chillie cheese burgers, chillie cheese dogs,
chillie cheese french fries in a wrap.
After a few bites, none of us could stomach it… and we drove away
hungry. Needless to say, we were not
looking forward to returning to Fresno.