I know a man who drives from Sacramento to Yosemite the same day (190 miles) as his Half Dome hike. Another asked my opinion on driving from the Central Valley town of Madera (90 miles- just east of Stockton) to do the hike.
My feeling is that it’s pure insanity. This is an EXTREMELY strenuous hike and I want as much sleep as I can get the night before. I hit the sack at 9 pm with earplugs in and hope I hear the alarm at 5 am. If you have to “void” waste products in the middle of the night, that will disrupt any REM sleep you had in mind.
To get up at 2:30 am then drive in the dark for 2-3 hours THEN do a 10-12 hour hike is asking your body to do a superman task. The 16-mile round trip hike will really task your body even when fully rested. My biggest fear is the drive home after. You eyes may cross on the dark mountain roads and over you go!
I say spend the money and get a place. I realize the 2-day advance lottery mostly helps those who are already in the park or who are “locals.” But how many times do you plan to do the hike anyway? The huge motel complexes in El Portal are nice and you are only 45 minutes from the trailhead.
My suggestion for 2013 is to make your tent cabin reservations a year in advance for several possible dates. If you get the permit via lottery (or Ouija Board) in 2013, then you are set. If you don’t get one, then cancel the room. 7-days notice.
We want to you come back alive to read more words of wit from the blog!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Sleep Walk” Instrumental by Santo & Johnny Hear it.
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com