Trip 10

Day 0
Friday, May 14, 2010

Safely arrived in Fresno after a five-hour drive. As some foreshadowing passed by a Target truck. Of course, the end of this journey will be Target’s home city. People above us might be having a little fun. Not quite sure. About three groups of teenagers were hanging outside their cars near a McDonalds and Dennys across from the Vagabond Inn. I guess that’s what people do for fun in this city. Go to Dennys in high heels. I wonder if there are clubs nearby or something. We also stopped at a Shell in Pickley, CA. The man standing outside the station in a cowboy hat, blue jeans and a blue full-sleeved collar shirt scared me with his angry glare. Luckily, we are now in Fresno. Probably more dangerous, but less scary on the face of it. On to Yosemite.

Day 1
Saturday, May 15

Apparently this morning got off to more rocky start than initially thought, and the day only got rockier—but in a much prettier sense. We left a canteen full of water in the fridge and a big and pretty much full bottle of contact solution at the Vagabond Inn. Within two hours, we arrived at Yosemite with some minor traffic delays as we approached the Yosemite. My dad’s recent 62nd birthday earned him the privilege to buy a $10 senior pass, which lasts forever and can be used to cover up to three other adults at any national park. Very sweet deal.

The quick 1,000 foot walk to see vista point to look at Brideveil Fall didn’t take much effort, but it was a good first foray into the waterfall culture. It was like a rainstorm down there as the water crashed to the bottom of the fall and mist rose into the air. It was as if we had been transported from the California to the Amazonian rainforest.

The next mission was to visit the tops of Vernal and Nevada Falls, .75 miles and 3.5 miles away, respectively. I quickly began to outdistance my mom and dad; my grandma did not even begin the journey. The upward trek turned out to be more daunting than I expected, but the two or three periods of downpour of water or mist were differently highlights. The other highlight was being able to see and touch snow. Even managed to toss a couple snowballs. If one does want to venture on the 7-mile round-trip hike to Nevada Falls, then note that is a lot simpler to come down John Muir trail—albeit longer—than on Mist Trail. The latter might keep you a bit cooler for a while though. My biggest annoyance how hot it was at certain points. I understand that we are six weeks away from winter, but if I can throw a snowball in May, then I should be able to see my breath during the day.

The Pavillion Buffet was rather pricey at $15.25 per adult, but the food was not too bad. Much better deal than the Food Court offering next door to the Lodge.

Sitting comfortably in the bed of this lodge, I’m discovering that the walls are paper thin. Just by our luck, we have four desis and a baby cramped into the adjacent room. Not a good combination for those of us who want to go to bed early.

Day 2
Sunday, May 16

As I sit here on yet another motel bed and now watch Boston-Orlando highlights wondering why LeBron is not in this game, I also wonder about why I am not still on top of the world. On the overlook above Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America, the gusts were suspiciously mild but the temperatures pleasantly cool. Again, the best part of the 3.4-mile hike to the top of this waterfall was the portion which placed the hiker directly in the path of the wafting mist. The relaxing feeling offered by this mist is unmistakeably pleasant. Unfortunately, the transition into sandy, dry and deserty conditions is quick and the chilled sensation is lost.

After completely the two-hour hike upward, I stubbed my toe on the top of the falls while trying to gaze at mountains across fro And now my toe is in pain. Hopefully, it won’t bother me tomorrow while wearing shoes. The hike back down took and an hour, 45 minutes and including a couple slips and a couple snakes.

A hat tip is due to the Asian couple in front of me who kept pushing me. They were the one group of people that I could not pass. They just kept forging ahead.

A fellow Padre fan, with two sons who are Dodger fans, informed me the Padres lost on Saturday. That made the next 30 seconds quite disappointing. (I was without Internet or Cell Phone service since Friday night.)

The bus driver this morning also directed our attention toward a Bobcat. That is, Bobcat #1470 (the construction vehicle). Man, he’s good.

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