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  • Day25

    Day 25 - Never Underestimate The Planet

    May 16, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    Woke up early feeling more than a bit excited about what the day had in store for us. I was aware that we had had heavy rainfall over night & the peaks of Yosemite had received a large dump of snowfall.

    We got ourselves ready & walked a few doors down to an old fashioned American Diner called the Sugar Pine Cafe. We sat down in a booth & ordered our breakfast. I ordered scrambled eggs with bacon & sausage, English muffins & cheese grits. Jackie ordered French Toast, eggs & sausage patty. This was washed down with unlimited coffee.

    Having placed our order we then realised that our biking buddies, Doug & Russ, were sat at the counter with their breakfast. We gave them a wave. Our breakfast arrived & was delicious. Cheese grits are a bit of an acquired taste, basically macaroni cheese, but polenta instead of macaroni. It came in a bowl as a stodge.

    By the time we had finished, customers were queuing outside to get in. Jackie counted out her shekels & went to the till to pay or bill of over $30. The waitress informed her that our cheque had been taken care Doug & Russ. We were blown away by their kindness & went over to thank & say goodbye to them.

    We went back to our Lodge & got ourselves ready for the day. We headed north on California 140 (scenic route) & by god was it. The sun was out & we followed the Merced River through Stanislaus National Forest, El Portal & to the entrance to Yosemite National Park, where my Pass was accepted through the Fast track lane.

    As we followed the road towards Tunnel View & Valley View, the scenery was spellbinding. We kept stopping for a photo only to realise that the next stop was an even better view. Our 1st stop & walk was to the foot of Bridalveil Falls. The trail was just 0.4 miles, but it was so worth it. I wasn’t really prepared, protective clothing wise & got soaked. It is at this time of year that the waterfalls are at their most powerful & the spray is unavoidable.

    Drenched, we returned to the car & meandered on, repeatedly stopping for photos of the amazing granite monoliths of El Capitan, Leaning Tower, Cathedral Spires, Three Brothers, Glacier Point, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Taft Point etc etc. Eventually we arrived at Yosemite Village Visitor Center.

    We visited the Visitor Center, Museum & Ansel Adams Gallery, then headed to the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail for more sodden selfies. We then returned to an information tent, where I had it confirmed what I already suspected, Tioga Road & Glacier Point were still closed due to snow. Sadly these are some of the Yosemite highlights (a good excuse to come back another time).

    I enquired as to what they suggested for a couple of mile hike & it they suggested either the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall or the flat easy trail to Mirror Lake & requested we use the shuttle bus. Jackie chose the Mirror Lake Trail, so we located the Free Shuttle Bus to stop 17 (Mirror Lake). On the bus, there was an excited buzz that bears had been seen between in the vicinity of where we were going.

    It was approximately 1 mile there & 1 mile back. We set off at a hot pace on the on the wooded path route as opposed to the road. Unfortunately the heavens suddenly opened & we were drenched. We waded through the puddles & up & down the slippery path until we arrived at Mirror Lake (or pond as it should be called).

    Unfortunately, Mirror Lake was more like ‘Shattered Mirror Lake’. The pounding rain was preventing the water provide a reflection. We bravely posed for photo & I took a reciprocal photo. I then enquired whether it was worth continuing around the lake or whether it was best to go back the way we had come.

    The couple I asked mentioned that the route required some scrambling up rocks, I turned to inform Jackie, only to discover that she was doing her impression of a Sussex Veteran walking champion suffering for a severe bout of earwax. I had no choice, but to chase her back down the trail to the bus stop .

    We were saturated & had to squeeze ourselves on to the bus back to our car. Jackie had now decided that she was not going on any further trails today. She was happy to see Yosemite from the car. I started to head out of the park & stopped for photos of more amazing views.

    The most notable was El Capitan, where other visitors pointed out a tiny speck that was an orange tent / bed thing suspended over 3/4s of the way up the sheer rock face. The thought of being in that made my bum go funny!
    By now the sun was back out, but Jackie had had enough of getting wet. We started to drive out of the Park but I decided to take an alternative scenic route California 120 northbound to get back to our Lodge. Almost immediately the road started rising sharply & signs were flashing ‘ Be Sure to have Chains with you’. Surely it couldn’t be that bad!!

    Soon our ‘Scenic Route’ was in mist with slush on the roads & our car dashboard display started flashing an alarm that it was freezing conditions. Bizarrely the USB power stopped, we had no WiFi or phone service & it started to snow quite heavily.

    I pigheadedly ploughed on, quite literally, but eventually we started to head downhill & out of the National Park. The journey continued through heavy rain & cloud. My alternative scenic route had taken us on a journey about 100 miles out of our way. & we got back to our Lodge in Mariposa about an hour and a half after we should’ve done. Basically, I f**ked up, but I’m not admitting that to Jackie.

    When we arrived back at our Lodge just after 1815 hrs, we got sorted & ended up in the local pizza house. We shared a 12” pizza & a pitcher of beer, which caused a few head to turn. We bought a box of wine & retired to our room.

    FITBIT = 20,683 steps / 9.6 miles.

    Song of the Day - Breakfast In America by Supertramp.

    Bonus Song of the Day :-

    Waterfall by The Stone Roses
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