Saturday, June 28, 2014

PCT Diaries: Yosemite Detour

Technically I've been to Yosemite National Park before, but only technically.

Once as a teen my family drove into Yosemite Valley, was turned off by the hordes of people more than turned on by the majestic beauty, and promptly drove out after spending a couple hours looking around. A couple years ago I made a similar visit and neither of them came close to doing justice to this place. 

This is me standing atop Cloud's Rest with Yosemite Valley behind and beneath me. Famous Half Dome can be seen on the left...

So now that I'm in Yosemite with no schedule to keep I believe it is time for me to do it up right. That means taking a detour from the Pacific Crest Trail hike for a week or more and exploring the place that first sparked the idea for national parks. 

Not bad, eh? Fifty shades of grey, indeed. 

And in how many places do three bucks cross a river right toward you?

 ...or can you see a coyote stalk a prairie dog?

The prairie dog was no fool -- it simply went underground. 

In order to keep hiking here I'll have to get backcountry permits and will need to go see a ranger about that. On the southern end of the park is the Mariposa Grove of sequoia trees which was the original impetus for protecting this area. I'd like to see that. And Hetch Hetchy is a famous valley that was sadly dammed up for the damn southern Californians who keep reproducing in a place that doesn't have its own water supply. 

So that's the plan for now. I won't make it as far north on the PCT a originally planned, but this feels like a much better use of my time than just ticking off northbound miles. 

p.s. The most facial hair I've ever worn enjoyed waiting out the first real rain of the past five weeks. 

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