18-20 October, 2002 Yosemite Trip Report

May Lake and Mt.
My friend Jamie arrived at my place at around noon on Friday, the 18th, and we headed out towards Yosemite. We made pretty good time overall, but suffered in an extremely slow entrance line (they really should have had both entrance stations open!). We stopped at the entrance store to check on fire conditions and get some advice on what trails would be best this weekend, but were greeted by a woman who 1) didn't know much of anything about the trails in Yosemite, and 2) was clearly ready to end her shift in 30min. We perused maps for a while and, after coming to no decision, purchased a nice National Geographic topo map of the park.

We had some time before dark, and decided to hike out to the Merced Grove, since its a short hike, and near the park entrance. Afterwards, we drove to the valley and found the campsite my parents were staying in. They had left a note at 7:35 saying they had gone to dinner at the buffet in Curry Village. We scurried over there, arriving a whole 5 minutes before the buffet closed at 8, and found my folks sitting there eating. We piled our plates with bland, flavorless, and expensive ($12.50/ea - ouch!) food and sat down and ate. After dinner, we went back to the campsite, set up our gear, and marvelled at how quiet the large boy scout troup next to us was (there must've been 20+ of them, and they were quiet as mice after singing some camp songs!). We all sat around the fire, and decided to hike North Dome on Saturday. My mom & father wanted to play it by ear, but thought the sub-trip to Indian Rock might be good. After a bit by the fire, we all went to bed.

We woke up on Saturday morning, broke camp (Jamie & I weren't camping on Saturday night), and asked my folks if they'd be joining us. My mom didn't want to get up, so I said my goodbyes and left them to enjoy the remainder of their stay. Jamie and I drove up Tioga Rd. a ways and hiked North Dome, and had a fine time of it. We made for Yosemite West afterwards, driving around a bit looking in vain for the cabin her French friends were renting before we gave up and went to the rental office. I waited in the car for what seemed like an eternity before Jamie finally emerged with directions to the cabin. The woman behind the desk apparently had insisted on painstakingly drawing the route on the map, even though there's only one road, and only the address is needed - ah well. We finally arrived at the cabin. After being introduced to 6 adults and 6'ish children, I took a shower (ahhh!) and chilled out with a nice glass of French wine, while talking to Jamie's friends. They were very nice from what I understood (they spoke about 3/4 in French :), and after a quick game of pool, we soon settled into a wonderful pot of fondue. We hopped in the hot tub, which was relaxing, but a touch too hot, then hung around for a bit before I retired.

Over breakfast on Sunday, we still couldn't decide what to hike, torn between doing May Lake/Mt. Hoffman and Lembert Dome/Dog Lake. We deferred that decision, and after a leisurely breakfast, headed down to Yosemite Valley to replace Jamie's lost sunglasses and film, and to replenish our hiking foods. On the drive up Tioga Rd., there was a TON of smoke, which was making me lean towards Lembert Dome, just because its higher up and farther south. It cleared up after a ways, however, and we decided on May Lake/Mt. Hoffman. After that briefer-than-planned hike, we went north past the park boundaries, and into Hetch-Hetchy, where we hiked Lookout Point. After this unique jaunt, and a really fun drive on a nicely-paved, and virtually deserted road (whose name I never caught), we made our way back to the Bay Area.

Although I didn't wind up doing any of the hikes I'd originally planned, the trip was the better for it - our unplanned hike to Lookout Point was wonderfully unlike anything else we'd done this weekend (and unlike any hike I'd ever done anytime previously for that matter!), May Lake was gorgeous, even without bagging Mt. Hoffman, and North Dome was every bit as lovely as I'd been led to believe.