:: Trip to the top of Half Dome (June 28 2003) ::This was a dayhike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite.
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:: Friday, June 27, 2003 @ 8:30 PM ::
I got my truck packed from the drive to Manteca and headed out of town. The traffic wasn't bad and it had cooled down considerably from the hot day that we had. When I got into Manteca I followed the instructions that I had printed out via Mapquest, but while the directions got me to the correct general area they did not print out the actual adress. I thought that was pretty messed up, so I called Forrest and decided to meet him and Doug at an AppleBee's down the street. On the way there I had to pass through a sobriety check point. I didn't know they had a problem with that in Manteca. In addition to asking me if I had been drinking the cops handed me a flyer full of Myths and Facts. For instance, one myth listed is that Coffee will sober a person up. But the fact is that no amount of coffee will sober you up: it will simply make you a nervous drunk. Oh the humanity! After we were done at AppleBee's we went back to Forrest's Mom's house where we watched the video that Forrest had made of our trip to Mount Shasta. We ended up going to sleep around 12:30 AM.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 4:30 AM::
We had to wake up early because Cressica and Robin were going to be at Forrest's Mom's house by 5 AM. I got up and got my stuff ready, and then waited for them to arrive. They made it there at about 5:15 AM and then we loaded eveyone's gear into Forrest's car and started on our way.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 8:45 AM::
We parked at Curry Village and then caught the shuttle to Happy Isles. Once we were there we started on our way to Vernal Falls.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 11 AM::
Once we got up past Vernal Falls it started to get hotter. We got more out of the mist from the waterfall and out of the shade of the trees. The trail was still a bit crowded at this point, but things started to thin out a little bit once we got to Nevada Falls.:: Saruday, June 28, 2003 @ 1 PM::
We made it past Nevada Falls and into Little Yosemite Valley. We stopped for a few minutes at the Merced River. It was a beautiful green color and I saw a trout come to the surface a few times to eat some bugs. I have to check on the fishing regulations here. I didn't see anyone fishing and I bet there are plenty of trout in this part of the river.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 3 PM::
Going up the big steps on the way to Half Dome has gotten tiring, but we are almost there. We made it to the base of the cables. The line is super long and we are wondering what the hold up is. I see a lot of people either turning around because they don't want to wait in the line to get to the top or going up on the outside of the cables. That seems a little dangerous to me. Forrest, Doug, and Cressica all decide to go up on the outside of the cables while Robin and I decide to wait in line and go up the inside of the cables.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 4 PM::
It took nearly an hour to get up the cables to the top of Half Dome, but I finally made it! I think the problem was that a lot of people going through the cables are just slow and need to take a lot of breaks. Since you can't really pass anyone this really slows down the line. Luckily it is still early and the weather is nice, otherwise we'd be hurting on the way back. The view up here is amazing. I can see mountains off in the distance that still have snow on them and Forrest is talking about going to those mountains this summer. I took a small break when I finally got to the top and then walked over to the edge overlooking the valley to have a look. It seemed like we were a couple of miles above the valley floor and I could see the Curry Village parking lot where we parked. I took a few pictures and and then put on some more sunblock. One major annoyance was that I had just about run out of water. I brought two liters with me, but on a hot day like today I had to keep drinking water so that I wouldn't suffer heat exhaustion. So my only focus once we started down the cables again was getting to a place where I could get more water.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 5:30 PM::
This is probably the coolest part of the trip. As we were still coming down near where there is a backpacker's campground near the Merced River we saw a bear. It was a golden colored black bear. I've never seen a black bear with highlights before. It was walking along parallel to the trail and didn't really seemed bothered by all the people that were looking at it and taking pictures. Of course I was no exception. It kept going down the hill and our trail just happened to follow about where the bear was going. So I made sure to keep my camera out for any action shots. We noticed that the bear made it's way over to a tree where someone had put their backpack. It started sniffing the backpack and then people started yelling at it and then like a bolt of lightening it grabs the backpack in it's mouth and then starts running off with it. It was actually quite comical. Then people around us were talking about going after the bear to get the backpack back. I told them that if they went after the bear they would probably get mauled or killed, and in the interest of safety they should write it off as lost gear and go one with their lives. At that point we made it back to more level ground and seperated fromt he spectators. I hope they didn't go after that bear for their sake.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 8:35 PM::
After the bear everything else on the way back was uneventful. I was really thirsty by the time we made it to the Merced River and after I filled up my two water bottles I drank nearly one liter. I used Forrest's water filter to fill my water bottles. Other than that my right knee started to get sore on the way down but it felt fine when we were walking on level ground. When we got back to the shuttle stop Forrest found a sign that said the shuttle service stopped at 8:30 PM. I told them that I saw a sign on the shuttle that said the shuttle runs daily until 10 PM. They decided to not wait for the shuttle and start walking the 1 mile back to the car. When we were about halfway there we saw the shuttle go by. Forrest said that I should have argued more about how it stops at 10 PM and not 8:30 PM, but I told him that we voted with our feet and that it wasnt' a big deal. When were relieved to be back at the car. I went to the restroom and changed my clothes and got something to drink for the trip back. Then everyone got in the car and we were on our way.:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 @ 9:30 PM::
There was one small problem, Forrest had a flat tire. We were tired and hungry, but we piled out of the car and got to work on the flat tire. Before we knew it, we were back on the road driving on a donut. It is not safe to drive on a donut faster than 50 mph, so we knew it would take a little while longer to get back to Manteca. It got to be around midnight and we got into the town of Oakdale. We were still hungry so we were scoping out what places were still open for us to get something to eat. We had seen a Del Taco and decided to go back down the road to go to the drive-thru, so Forrest did an illegal u-turn to get back to Del Taco, and wouldn't you know it, there was a cop right there to bust us. It was hilarious. Probably not hilarious for Forrest though... So the cop ran his plates, checked his insurance, license and all the other standard stuff. Then the cop told Forrest that his registration was a few weeks overdue. The cop then gave him a fixer ticket and let us go about our way. I wonder if Forrest has gotten his registration done yet? So we finally made it to Del Taco and got some crappy burritos and then we drove back to Manteca.:: Sunday, June 29, 2003 @ 2:00 AM::
I made it back home at 2 AM. I had decided to not stay the night in Manteca because I was really dirty and didn't have a change of clothes. I also wanted to sleep in my own bed. The drive back to San Jose was uneventful. Talk radio really late on a Saturday night really sucks. But I had a fun trip. I would definitely do Half Dome again. Maybe I can even do it sometime again this summer with Christina.