Upon arriving at the park I was surprised how light traffic was on Friday. Although signs warned of delays at the park, there was none at the Arch Rock entrance. I later heard that last weekend was a zoo with up to 2-hour waits just to get into the park.
Curry Village tent cabins were mellow and while I insisted that my hiking mates be on time for dinner at the Curry Village Buffett, we had no trouble getting in. Usually, on a Friday night, there are lines out the door at 5:30. Oh, dinner is now over $18 each with tax – yikes . . .but I like to fill ‘er up there and drink about 5 glasses of Cranberry juice.
I sleep with earplugs in the refugee camp, er, Curry Tent cabins and did not hear my phone alarm go off at 0500. My pals did but they did not get up. So we were pretty late hitting the trail – like 6:20 am because they insisted on getting coffee. The access road and Merced River bank route was empty. Even on the hike to the Vernal Fall Footbridge, it was almost deserted. Boy, this is weird. Permits’ are holding the crowd down. Vernal and Nevada Fall were both running good. Considering the low snowpack, I was surprised to see them flowing at all.
After pumping water in at Little Yosemite Valley, then again at the Little Spring (with the new look thanks to a tree that dropped on it), we continue to the Sub Dome. This is the first time I have ever seen a person camping at the flats at Sub Dome.
The Ranger said it was OK, even though the sign at LYV reads “No camping above 7600 ft.” He said the Supervisors Compendium has been changed but not the sign. Huh? This is not very good communication.
The climb up was cables was pleasant and the crowd up top was thin.
On the way back to the valley, I met some folks from Georgia who were totally out of water without a filter. I gave them a quart to hike back with me to the Little Spring, then pumped about 1.5 gallons for all 4 of them. They had about 10 little 10 oz bottles. Sigh
The sun got brutal at about 3 pm. A very hot afternoon. My mates had enough and we opted for the shorter Mist Trail down vs the gentler but longer John Muir Trail. It was a solid 12-hour day capped off by a large pepperoni pizza at Curry.
That night at about 3 am I got my usually hamstring cramp. I have no clue why that always happens. I worked the hams pretty hard in training but the 2 minutes of sheer pain gradually subsided and I slept until 8.
I’ll have more info on news I picked up this week. I saw a lot of friends and will post pix. My next one up is August 22. Holler if you will be there. August is Thunderstorm month, so be careful – hike early and be heading down about noon.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.” – Jerry Seinfeld
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com