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  1. #1

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    Last summer, after a lifetime of camping in drive-up sites with BBQs and tables, the boy and I made some brief forays into the world of backpacking (http://micechat.com/forums/other-the...cho-photo.html). This year, we expanded our horizons, and secured a wilderness permit for the weekend of the 4th of July in Yosemite. My neice was supposed to go, but (engage bragging uncle mode) she just graduated Phi Beta Cappa from Berkeley and has to get set up at NYU Law School for her first year on a full scholarship (disengage bragging uncle mode).

    We had some traffic issues in Escaon and Oakdale on the third, but no expected wait at the entry to the park. Picking up our permit as entered, we drove to Porcupine Creek on the Tioga Road, away from the holiday mob in the valley.





    Hiked in about 2.5 miles or so, and found a campsite off the trail, with a nearby creek.





    We had a bit of time to explore the immeditae area before hitting the bags after eating freeze-dried speghetti from a bag. Tip: pour in less water than they say unless you like speghetti soup!







    Out the next day, we got on the North Dome trail, and finally left the forest behind for some open views. We had no worries about the safety of our equipment, because we had left about 9,000,000 mosquitos on guard.





    Did you know there are 2 natural arches in Yosemite? One is underwater, and I bet half the people that see the other weren't aware of it in advance. It's on a spur trail to Indian Rock, and well worth the 1/4 mile detour, especially if anyone like climbing rocks.



    At least he's good at sizing it up before he attempts it.









    This is also where we got our first views across the Valley (for reference, our trailhead was about five miles north of the rim) to Half Dome.



    There were a couple of lightning fires and controlled burns, so there air was smoky, and visibility was noticeably impacted. We pressed on to North Dome. From the point where the following photo was taken, the trail descends to the trees, then goes up the dome. You do not want to slip on that descent, part of it was pretty sobering.



    This dome is across from Half Dome (which used to be called South Dome), and it's a viewpoint not many experience.





    The boy was exhausted when we returned to camp, and went for a lie down after beef strogonauf in a bag (He likes It! Hey, Mikey!). I decided to go up, and even got above the mosquito line.





    The next morning we lugged our gear up to the car, after filling the water bottle, emptying out the little critter that was scooped up, then filling it again.


    The ancient Romans used to begin their communal baths by being oiled and scraped, and after three days of accumulating layers of dirt, sweat, DEET, sunscreen and sanitizor, I felt due for a good scraping!



    We knew we would want some proper food after nuts and dried fruits, and had scoped out our options on the way up. As we began our drive towards the Bay, we made a beeline for Stan's BBQ in Groveland.







    Ribs weren't quite fall off of the bone, but they were moist and smoky; seems to be a couple doing everything, and they opened only recently.



    Even though we're novices to the backpaker's world, we seem to do OK. Although there were things we may have wanted, there was never anything that we needed but didn't have. Well, a Sherpa, mule or llama to tote everything wouldn't come amiss. Thanks for taking the virtual journey.




    A bientot.
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    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  2. #2

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    Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    Yosemite double dose *drools*

    Congrats for entering the Wonderful World of Wilderness IMO nothing--not even Disneyland--can top it, especially in the eastern Sierra. (I haven't backpacked in ages and ages; really need to start doing it again.)

    After you've done a few trips you'll find things you can do in a relatively everyday manner, compared to fancy high-tech "backpacking" methods. This is especially true if you're going on weekend trips and only a few miles as opposed to long expeditions. For example, foodstuffs. The schmancy freeze-dried meals can be fun if you actually enjoy that sort of thing, but there are all kinds of everyday things that are appropriately lightweight and probably more appetizing, such as common packaged dinners. Dense breads like tortillas and English muffins stand up good to packing. Cheeses with rinds and probably others shouldn't need refrigerating at all, and will be good energy and substance. (There's always Easy-Cheese if you like that.) Add a few mayo portion-packs and you have sandwiches. You can always keep powerbars and similar energy-dense things for emergency rations and snacking on trails, if you don't want to bring more than you need meal-wise.

    And on basic there-and-back trips you can afford to "splurge" weight-wise a bit: such as a few potatoes and onion and a bit of oil for good ol' fried potatoes, or a couple canned things, or things kept frozen until you hit the trail. On one weekender, my splurge item was two cans of Mountain Dew, one of which came with me on a long day hike out of camp. It was one of the best I'd had.

    Anyways, after looking at your other TR, you've probably considered some of these alrady. If it's useful, cool; others might find it useful I hope.

  3. #3

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    My weight splurge was sleep oriented; yep, I actually hauled a cot into the backcountry.

    A bientot.
    Remember
    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  4. #4

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    Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    Thank you. Please post more trip reports like this. For those that can't (yet) go to these beautiful places, your photos are a wonderful welcome to an otherwise tedious work week.

    Great job!

  5. #5

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    Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    What a wonderful little vacation with the boy! Looks like some good quality bonding time. Thanks for sharing.


    It wasn't me, it was Lisa!

  6. #6

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    Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    Wow, your pictures of the views are amazing!!! Looks like the two of you had a very good time and got some great sights and great weather too!!
    Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

  7. #7

    • Hopper's Mortal Enemy
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    Cool Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    Thanks for all the kind words, always appreciate an audience. We're only 1/7 of the way into this while teen thing. I can tell that it won't be boring.

    A bientot.
    Remember
    What the dormouse said
    Feed your head!


    You've read it; you can't unread it!

  8. #8

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    Re: Freedom to backpack and photograph-Yosemite on the 4th!

    What a wonderful place to go on the 4th of July.
    Your gonna need more bonding time with the boy.
    "You are watching FOX"

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