No Cool Title... Illilouette Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

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Miya

Because I am able.
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Thread starter #1
This probably qualifies more as camping, because two nights were camping and one night was backpacking. However, calling it backpacking makes me feel cooler. :cool:

Again, too many photos...
https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Illilouette-Falls

Freckles and I showed up at Yosemite National Park, CA on Saturday, 11.10.18. We took our time with the loop and got to camp right at 08:00.

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Gorgeous fall colors everywhere! Too bad the smoke made it down to Yosemite, but such a breath of 'fresher' air, compared to home.

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I was desperate to get a site at Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, the only First Come First Serve Campground open in Yosemite during this time of year. I figured we would have no trouble: middle of November, showing up early, and nights were supposed to fall into the low 20s. Boy was I wrong. Even though I looked up where it was and read information beforehand, I didn't grasp the concept of 'Shared Campgrounds'. Freckles and I scoured the entire area and managed to find one bear locker left. Come to find out later that morning, when the ranger showed up, we had broken the rules, but the other 3 couples at our site didn't complain and let us be. Apparently, it is a 4 tent maximum, but also a 6 person maximum, and a bear locker must be available. The system is super flawed, luckily it allowed us to fall through the cracks and get a site.

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One of the things I love about camping and backpacking, it makes the most simplest things AMAZING. It makes me grateful for food, water, and warmth. I loved waking up in the morning, freezing cold, and seeing people (including myself) flock to the sun and just soak up the heat. Instant gratification of a pure kind.

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Freckles and I hiked around the valley on Saturday and some of Sunday. It was nice and leisurely. He went home Sunday afternoon to get back to work and I braved the 23 degree night on my lonesome. I managed to stay warmish all 3 nights. I have a 10 degree bag, a fleece liner, the thermarest Neo Air Xtherm, a fleece beanie, two base shirts, my Montbell down hoodie, super thick fuzzy socks, down booties, and base layer pants. My legs were cold, but I am going to invest in some down pants now. I sleep VERY cold.

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Salt and vinegar, yo!

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I don't know this man...

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Bambi at camp!

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On Sunday night, the couple at our site, climbers, had been there for over 3 weeks. They ended up having a pretty bad fight and I couldn't wait to get the hell into the wilderness and away form PEOPLE. Bobbi showed up Monday morning and since I was allowed to get my permit the day before, we packed up the car and headed to Happy Isles TH. We didn't hit the trail till 08:45. We only had 7 miles to go and ~2,500 gain, but Bobbi is on the slower side and we take a lot of photos. With the sun setting at 1600, I was a little worried we wouldn't make it to Illilouette Falls before dark.

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Touched a bear!

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Vernal Falls, the stairs were real bun and thigh killers.

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Above Vernal now.

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The views were lovely the whole way, just that darn smoke hovering in the air was a bit of a downer.

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Some ice on trail.

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Our waterfall was freezing over, luckily, enough running that we could pump water.


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We ended up making it to camp at 1400 without any Bobbi Blunders! Yay! The day was already getting cold, so we set up camp early. We couldn't wait to make a fire! Bobbi spent almost an hour reinforcing a pathetic fire ring. We were very determined to not start a forest fire! I collected wood while she worked diligently on our magnificent ring!

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Bobbi blunder #1, she was throwing wood to split it and it shattered and broke her glasses (you will see her glasses have duct tape on them for the rest of the trip. Luckily, her eyes were protected. Her cheek swelled up a little bit, but didn't leave a bruise.

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Fire roasted Spam anyone?? Mmmmmm

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This was the first time I wasn't too tired to take photos of a fire. It was fun!

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Bobbi was exhausted from not sleeping the day before, so she went to bed at 1800 and I laid in the tent for 2 or 3 hours before I fell asleep. We decided to share the tent for warmth purposes. We both run very cold. I woke up at 08:00, after the most restless night of sleep I have had in the backcountry so far, but I still felt grateful to be outside.

I MADE MY FIRST FIRE EVER, ALL BY MYSELF! I cleaned up around camp and made sure the fire stayed nice and roaring for Bobbi so she could wake up warm. We headed out at 10:00, no hurry since the hike back was almost entirely downhill.

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A burnt area...Sad.

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Nevada Falls

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The last mile of the trail, we got to see a Bobcat and baby bear! We think Momma was laying behind the rock, but we didn't see her.
The Bobcat was stalking a squirrel, and it lunged for it, right in front my EYEBALLS! The squirrel screamed and flew from the tree! The bobcat walked back onto the trail less than a minute later, empty mouthed. Hehe. I was a little scared for the squirrel. I know it is nature, but the scream made me sad for it, Haha
Luckily, Bobbi had her Telephoto, so she took the photos :)

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Made it back to Half Dome Village. Picked up some coffee, took pictures with another bear and headed home.

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Mmmmm well deserved Pho.

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Thanks for reading!
 
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Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
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Thread starter #5
I'd love to spend some time in Yosemite Valley, but that campground looks like my idea of hell :)

thanks for sharing
Haha umm...yes. I tried to stay positive and just be grateful, but I was not mentally prepared for so many humans in such close proximity.
 
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#6
These pics are impressive! I agree with the above comment. Yosemite looks pretty crowded... But those views explain why. Thanks for sharing.
 
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#7
Wow! Cool trip. Great pictures. The seasonal variability of those falls is amazing. We hiked the Mist Trail in May last year and there was SO much water.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
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Thread starter #8
These pics are impressive! I agree with the above comment. Yosemite looks pretty crowded... But those views explain why. Thanks for sharing.
Luckily, where we camped, no one went. Not as popular once you start hiking away from the MAIN attractions. :)
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
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Thread starter #9
Wow! Cool trip. Great pictures. The seasonal variability of those falls is amazing. We hiked the Mist Trail in May last year and there was SO much water.
Mist trail was still nice, but probably breathtaking when you went! Luckily, I have been there one winter with the falls running. They are amazing and everywhere! I am hoping to go back in March or April, before the summer crowd shows up. :)
 

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