24.04.2007 0 °C
We set off very early from Murphys and reached Yosemite at 10.00am.
The first views of the Valley were absolutely breathtaking! It was like a Disney film set come to life - and then some.
We checked in to a camp site. The ready-made accommodation was canvas tents with concrete walls. Each tent had a lockable steel trunk outside for food. We were instructed that no food - not even toothpaste should be left out - or in the car because the bears will break in and get it (apparently this is happens practically every week).
Deer are OK though....
We had lunch in the village and then headed off to walk up to the halfway point on the Yosemite Falls Trail. These are the highest falls in America and, being at the start of the Spring melt, they were close to their best (they dry up completely in late Summer).
Our path took us up 1500 feet of switchbacks. The weather was lovely - low teens and sunny. When we reached the lookout we were able to see the falls from top to bottom.
Looking down at the sheer drop to the valley, I was reminded of Chris Booth, the father of some friends of my daughters, a fairly quiet, unassuming chap - who mentioned at a party shortly before we left England that he had climbed El Capitan - a practically sheer granite cliff nearly twice as high as the drop that I was now contemplating.
I take my hat off to him!
In the evening we lit a fire and toasted marshmallows. I drove to the village shop. On my return - inside the camping ground - I was pulled over by a State Trooper who told me that I had exceeded the 25mph speed limit. I was put through 10 minutes of co-ordination tests and a breathaliser - in the freezing cold, with blue and red lights flashing throughout and quite a few interested bystanders. I assume that the co-ordination tests are to check for drugs. Anyway, he didn't find anything wrong and went away.
Was I bothered?
In the morning the kids were disappointed that we hadn't seen any bears but soon cheered up when it started to snow. After 3 months in the tropics we weren't equipped for trecking in these conditions so we set off for San Francisco.
As we climbed out of the valley, the snow intensified and I was worried that we'd be turned back (the car did not have snow chains).
But it cleared pretty quickly and we had a pleasant drive (past hundreds and hundreds of Wind Generators) down to San Francisco.