John Muir in the New World

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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Dateline: Naples, Florida, April 18, 2011 – This reporter is on-scene in Central Florida. Having ridden 700 miles down to Key West on a Harley, I can confirm that the state is pretty darn FLAT. For Yosemite Visitors intending to hike Half Dome, I preach that you have to hike hills. Good luck in FL. So I suggest you find a high rise condo complex or tall hotel and go up and down the fire escape steps until you are dead tired – then do it 10 more times. You have to condition your legs – including your downhill muscles. This is good advice for anyone who lives in a vertically challenged environment.

     Speaking of Florida, did you know that John Muir walked from Indiana to Florida in 1867?  I have not been able to find out his route, but I admit I haven’t dug deep. Anyone know? It is reported that he got a touch of malaria here.

    So, did yall watch Monday’s PBS documentary on John Muir? It was called “John Muir in the New World.”  My sister TiVO’d it for me. A lot of the hour and half film was shot in Tuolumne County. About a year and half ago portions were filmed at Columbia State Park, Railtown and Cover’s Apple Ranch. Of course a lot was done at Yosemite. Other locations included Wisconsin, California’s Alhambra Valley and the glaciers of Alaska. Since I haven’t seen it yet, how was it? I’m sure we can now pay $29.99 for our own DVD.

   Permit Scalping – The SacBee online has a good article about the plight of ticket scalping gougers who are trying to plunder us by selling permits at rip-off prices. Click <HERE>.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: Like a true nature’s child, we were born be wild. Fly so high . . . we’re never gonna die – Born to be wild.” – Steppenwolf

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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0 Responses to John Muir in the New World

  1. ScottS says:

    Al makes a great point. I think my biggest fear of the whole hike is getting to the permit checkpoint and having the ranger tell me I’ve already been up to the top. It frankly is why I hesitate to say publicly what date I’ve secured and what my real name is.

    I plan on showing up with my drivers license, the original confirmation email and whatever else I can think of to prove the veracity of my permit.

    That, and my sobbing wife should get us up to the cables 🙂

  2. Norman S says:

    What would be the impact if the Park Service reduced the number of permits that can be requested. In the Half Dome Cables Modeling and Visitor Use Estimation Final Report, they listed mean travel times by size of group (1, 2 & 3+) so there must be a statistic on size of groups going to Half Dome.
    If the majority are in parties of two or three, why offer four tickets? It would open up a few spaces.

    Norman

    • mrhalfdome says:

      How could they identify people per group?? They’d have to have a massive progam to ask … then how do they decide if each member of a given group actually goes up the cables together? Gee, and other $400M stimulus program!! The park’s limit on organized groups is 15. But if they are stretched out, it;s hard to enforce.

      And let’s not suggest a Disneyland “time slot” approach.

  3. Al Laurente says:

    I suggest that NPS make it a lottery system. I am very disappointed that the printed ticket is so easy to duplicate or manipulate. Anybody with little Photoshop skills can reproduce one. It is unlikely that a park ranger would have a barcode scanner to verify the authenticity of the ticket. Or if low tech, do you think a ranger would have a list of valid daily permits and verify each one going up/down subdome? I dont think so.

  4. Norman S says:

    From the SacBee: Scalpers flipping Yosemite reservations (Marjie Lundstrom)
    “How, then, are scalpers muscling to the head of the reservation queue? Gediman said it appears that some have found a way to game the system, devising automated programs that instantly snag cancellations.”

    If this is true, then on high value days (as determined by the writers of these programs)humans don’t have much of a chance – as we saw on April 1st.

    Can someone tell me where my thinking is off? In purchasing tickets to baseball games, I have to copy a stylized word before I can place the order. As I understand it, this system is designed to prevent automated programs from doing exactly what they’re doing at Yosemite. Couldn’t the same system be used at recreation.gov – or is it a propriety technology?

    Norman

    • Sönke says:

      I have a hard time to believe that scalpers are using some kind of automated systems. In theory it’s always possible to manipulate such kind of system but is it worthwhile?! Don’t think so.

      Although permits went fast on April 1st (I’d say it took less than 4 minutes) I manage to scoop up some permits for two different days without any other preparation apart from what has been discussed here on the blog. You have to act fast though (meaning you need to know how to click here and there, enter some personal infos etc.).

      I think it’s just the sheer number of users trying to get a permit that makes them go fast. My guess is that it only takes between 1000 and 2500 people and the permits will be gone in no time. And I think this is a very realistic number if I compare that to the number of people that climbed HD in recent years.

      To answer your final question: in theory it’s possible to add some “obstacles” for extra safety so automated programs won’t be able to manipulate the system so easily.

  5. Dean says:

    Well I’ll be trying for August permits soon but I’m ready to be disapointed…Clouds Rest is calling.

    Booked another day, v. pleased, that’s 4 nights in Curry listening out for bears.

    Plan is HD or Clouds Rest day1, North Dome day2 and drive up Glacier Point Road for a stroll around Sentinal Dome/Taft Point day3.

    Of course that might all change if the park decide to set fire to a gazillion acres again!

  6. Sönke says:

    As far as we know John Muir didn’t keep an exact journal of his walk from Indiana to Florida. He crossed Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

    Two years after Muir’s death the book “A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf” was published. The book is based on Muir’s journals. It’s available on Amazon.

    Apparently he was bed ridden for 3 month with malaria.

    The University Of The Pacific is a good source to learn more about Muir’s walk to Florida. They state that “Muir’s journal provides only a sketchy outline of his geographical route”. Take a look yourself:

    http://www.universityofthepaci.....201.11.pdf

    I had some difficulties opening the site in my web browser but I just used the “Save Page”-function of my browser and the .pdf displayed nicely. Pages 1,4,5, 6 and 7 are most interesting.

  7. andy says:

    The scalping is bad news but of course entirely predictable. What did they think would happen? Unfortunately, this is one more small step toward the cables be declared “unmanageable” and being removed.

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