Today started with an early morning alarm and a quick warm breakfast. We wanted to make sure we got to Yosemite early so that we would be sure to get a campsite! Before we left, however, we decided to do a bit of rearranging. If you guys know anything about us (well, mostly Patrick), it’s that we’re a bit OCD when it comes to organization, and being in a truck full of stuff for two and a half weeks, we want it to be just right. After a quick shuffle, we had our bags in the backseat and the camping/cooking equipment ready to go in the bed of the truck.
As soon as we left the park, we finally got cell service and made some calls back home to give the moms an update. We then made our way towards Yosemite, but not before stopping in Fresno for some essentials. After the first day’s rain drizzle, Patrick realized that he neglected to pack his raincoat. (Apparently, that sort of thing isn’t necessary in San Diego, so he kind of forgot that he owned one and sent it along in the U-Haul.) While at Sport’s Authority, we both caught eyes with an EZ-Up (pop-up tailgating-type tent thing) that was on sale. We knew we probably didn’t have room, but we couldn’t pass up the bargain. Alas, the tent lived a short life of freedom, as we returned it about ten minutes later once we confirmed it didn’t fit.
After a short period of driving, we opted to stop at a Starbucks right outside of Yosemite and borrow some WiFi. Patrick went inside to scope it out, and when he didn’t return right away, Ally went in to investigate. We spent about twenty minutes there uploading our first post. (Hope you all enjoyed it!)
Soon, we were at the park entrance. Yosemite Valley (where all the main attractions are) is about an hour and half further inside the park, however, and this was time we hadn’t really factored in. It was now 3 PM, and we knew campsites would be tough to find. Nevertheless, we stopped at the first “first-come, first-served” campground we passed and were fortunate enough to see availability!
We picked our spot and went to pay the camp hosts. After talking with them a bit, we got the lowdown on the fire situation. Apparently the fire crews had been using this campground as their staging area and left town just this morning. We were glad to hear the fire was essentially completely contained and posed no threat to us, or to the rest of the park—and were particularly grateful that they left so we could have a spot!
After setting up, we decided to finish our trek down to the Valley to see what all the fuss was about. Nearly immediately, we realized. The pictures don’t do it justice, but holy moly that’s a HUGE dome! Despite the haze, Half Dome was an imposing figure in the Valley landscape; El Capitan (“El Cap”) on the north side of the valley (left side of the picture) isn’t too shabby either.
After snapping some photos, we headed down to the main visitor’s center and scoped out some hikes for the next day. On our way back to camp, we stopped at a picnic area to make some meatball grinders. El Cap and the Three Brothers were watching over us. What an incredible dinnertime view!
Once back at camp, it was quick to bed. We had picked a “very strenuous” hike (as rated by the Park Rangers) for the next day and wanted to get an early start. It should be a doozy with over 2,700 feet elevation gain in only 3.2 miles.
-Ally and Patrick
Sequoia National Park to Yosemite National Park – 162 miles