Last week of the USA
The fires have been out for a couple of weeks or so, roads are open and at last the smoke has cleared so we can go to Yosemite (our last National Park for this trip). We had a night's rest at Caswell Memorial State Park on the way. Unfortunately it was somewhat noisy due to a very vocal Great Horned Owl that hooted away through most of the night.
Arriving at Yosemite we were at the Hodgdon Meadow site, which is not a nice campground as it is very hilly and crowded. All the campsites are packed and lacking the charm of others. White Wolf was our last campsite here and a much more pleasant site, but it was at an altitude of 8,000ft so temperatures dropped to a chilly 8C.
This much vaunted National Park has had nearly 900 deaths by various means. As we walked down a trail we heard a thunderous crashing sound and in the seconds it took us to look round a tree crashed down next to us. We were covered in woodshavings and standing in a brown cloud of wood pieces. The tree had not been tall enough to reach us, but came down towards us; phew, what a narrow miss. Others have not been so lucky with falling trees.
We missed the lottery for the half dome cable hike as the site went down again. There were 3 serious walks we wanted to do. Four mile trail, which is actually now 4.6 miles one way and all uphill – the photo below shows the start and where you get up to. Another walk that looks impossible, but is quite straightforward as the trail is very well engineered.
We really did walk up this.
The second strenuous trail was the well named Panorama trail and our final trail was the Mist trail. Luckily for us all these 3 trails join up and make a route just under 15 miles long with a shuttle bus and short walk to get back to the RV at the first trailhead. A lovely day of walking with the beautiful sights of Yosemite.
The walk we didn't get into the lottery for.
Mummy sooty grouse
Vernal Falls on the Mist trail
Our only Ranger event was Starry Night, a relaxing evening at the Helipad in our chairs identifying stars. Murray even managed to get a pic of one of the shooting stars passing Cassiopeia.