On Monday (10/11) we left San Diego for a road trip to Yosemite National Park. This was not a plan we had made. Matt met another couchsurfer (Alex) at a party who had already hired a car and was planning to go by himself. To cut costs he was happy for us to come along as well. So off we trotted, Alex from Austria, Patrick from New Jersey and Matt and myself. On the first day we hit Siquoia National Park. There was a lot of snow on the roads when we got above 5000 ft. We parked the car at a road closed sign and headed of for the first walk of the trip to some big trees (can't remember actual names). This was about a 4 mile return walk. All walking was on the road as it was closed due to snow. Later that night pitched tent we bought from a second hand store for $50 which also included sleeping mats. Threw on my thermals for the first time. Suprisingly I wasn't cold. Patrck wasn't as prepared and only had a hospital blanket to sleep with. He suffered and ended up jumping in the car with Alex.
The next day we drove to Moro Rock. Great lookout across the valley. After a bite to eat we then parked the car and started a hike. We climbed aprox 1000ft in 1.5 miles. It was pretty hard going through snow and didn't enjoy the walk however the views at the end were amazing. We were above the clouds at around 8000 ft. It was starting to get late in the afternoon and the sun was starting to go down. We would have loved to have stayed up there for the sunset however didn't have any torches with us and didn't really feel like walking back down in the dark. That night we pitched a tent in a campground sourounded by snow. I was a little colder that night.
Day 3 of the trip we did another hike to a waterfall. This was about a 5 mile roundtirp. Really nice waterfall. The others kept hiking up a little further, and I just couldn't be bothered. I think I have decided I don't really enjoy the hiking. While the others were heading up further I decided to go for a dip in the river. I was the only one around so decided to nude up and jump in. It was bloody freezing. I was only in for about a minute but the feet were already numb. The others came back down, we had a bite to eat and then started back to the car. When we got back to the car there was a note on the windscreen left by the ranger. They had closed the road to the area of the park we were in at midday. It was now around 3pm. We were the last of the general public in this area of the park until it opened again next year. We had to contact the ranger so they could let us out.
On day 4 we finally made it into Yosemite National Park. We parked at the main lookout as you head towards the valley and headed up the hill to Inspiration Point. This was another walk where it was just UP the entire time. I was w***ed by the time I reached it. The others again wanted to walk further and I just couldn't be bothered. My legs were killing me. Off they went and down I went. When they were back we headed down to Yosemite Valley where we set up camp.
Day 5 and I was just so over hiking. I think I would have walked over 20 miles in total since the start of the road trip. Matt and Alex decided they wanted to go on a long hike today (13 mile) so Patrick and I just wandered around Yosemite Village checking it all out. We had lunch at the Yosemite Lodge. I had a double cheeseburger. It was delicious, especially after living off can food for the past 4 days. Had a look at the art gallery and indian museum then got back to camp around 4ish. Found out that we could sneak into an area of the village where the staff reside and have a shower. After 5 days without a shower, it felt like heaven.
Day 6 it was time to leave. First we went for a walk to Mirror Lake. It was more like a large puddle. We continued down the path where the locals had told us there was a hidden waterfall. We bush bashed for a little while and then came across it. Not as spectacular as some of the other waterfalls we had seen on this trip but still had fun climbing up the rocks to get to it. Got back to the car around 11ish, stopped for a couple of minutes at Yosemite Falls and then out of the park and onward bound to San Francisco.