12/27/16: Yosemite Day 1
We got up around 8 which was kind of late. We got ready & made some egg sandwiches in the room for breakfast. We also made some sandwiches to pack for lunch. Once we were done with all of that it was even later and we got our stuff together and loaded into the van and drove into the park. It is about 8 miles from our hotel to the park gate and then another 8 miles or so to Yosemite Village. I had forgotten how pretty Yosemite is. I always fear the crowds and so don’t make going there a priority but it really is a scenic place. Think this is our first time to be there when there is snow so it is a different experience for us. On the drive in to the Village we stopped & took in views of some waterfalls & the Merced River and then ended up parking near the General Store which is by the Visitor Center. We ended up hitting both of them to check them out. We bought a topo map for the trails while we were there & Joyce bought a water bottle.
Once done with that we grabbed a shuttle to the Mist Trail which was the trail for viewing Vernal Falls. It was a nice trail but it was icy which required us to put on our boot traction devices for parts of it. I used my ancient pair while Joyce used her brand new LL Bean beefy crampons. Both kept us from slipping but Joyce felt hers could possibly be a bit aggressive for use on trails like we hiked today. Once we got up to the turnoff for Vernal Falls we found that the trail was closed due to falling rock danger. This was a bummer but we decided to hike part of the way up to Nevada Falls and then decided at some point to turn back. We ate our lunch on the trail before we hiked back to the trailhead.
We grabbed a shuttle back to where we parked the van but it was early so we decided to hit the General Store where Joyce bought some traction devices similar to mine. They are better due to having more studs and I would have replaced mine as well but they were out of the size for my Sasquatch feet. Once out of there we decided to walk along the bike route which took us along the valley and provided great views of Yosemite Falls & Half Dome. On the way back we almost hiked the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail but it was almost dark & Joyce’s new boots were hurting her calf so we called it a day. We walked back to the van and then drove off towards the hotel. Traffic was hellacious getting out of the park. Some roads were closed it seems so it was stop & go for a few miles until traffic broke up & we were able to move. Back at the hotel we made some spicy Korean ramen for dinner and then thought ahead and made breakfast for ourselves for the morning along with sandwiches for lunch. We will just use the microwave in the van to heat our breakfast once we get into the park. This worked well for us in Glacier & Yellowstone. After that we called it a day…after I had a Peppermint Victory At Sea that is.