Sunday. June 18, 2017. Yosemite (past Snow Creek).
Pretty sure today is the first Father’s Day I have not been with my dad, which is kinda tough. I gave him his present early and still was able to text him (thank you Verizon for having service in the middle of nowhere), but it is obviously not the same.
Today was much different than yesterday. There were not nearly as many people. It started off pretty steady, as I passed people on their way to the falls from staying out in the back country. But after a while, there was no one else left to pass. Which is just as well. Overall it did not bother me, just a with a few exceptions. Specifically a couple of miles after North Dome. The path was covered by sporadic patches of snow. I was blind to where I needed to go, outside of previous footprints. The problem being that the footprints were easily lost. I almost got overwhelmed and wanted a companion… but then I came across the giant rushing waterfall of Snow Creek (really I consider it much more than a “creek.”)
Today’s terrain was mostly easier too. Over half of it was downhill, and I had all day so I took my sweet time on the steep climbs. The snow I previously mentioned and coming back from North Dome were the most challenging aspects of the day. When I ventured out to North Dome it was an added adventure. It was a half mile trail that extended from my original path. It provided absolutely beautiful views. It was also the first place I had to dig a hole and go to the bathroom. And, it started raining while I was out there. Overall I would not mind the rain, even enjoy it, but it was a very steep and narrow rocky face to get back up to the trail. Add water to the mix? And it was dangerously slippery in places, seeing as how it is smooth granite. I fell once and slid a bit, busted my elbow and who knows if I have bruises under my clothes.
It is funny how little is important out here, and by that I mean the issues of day to day life. My biggest concerns are finding water and shade, both of which are equally difficult to find and keep, and both of which are taken for granted in real life.
The two other issues of today, I lost my towel and flies! It is funny how upset I was when I noticed my towel had fallen off its hook on my pack. I mean how else was I going to wipe my sweat off?! Clearly yesterday it was even important enough to write about in a journal entry, when I did not even want to write anything. I back tracked a little looking for my towel, but it was gone.
Flies and mosquitoes have been the other big annoyance. I now know what horses feels like. I was batting my arms and whipping my hair continuously it seems. I started out the day with my bug spray in my bear can all the way at the bottom of my pack. Big mistake. Around North Dome I caved and dug through my whole pack because swatting and yelling was not working. The mosquitoes were deterred for a little while, but the flies were only minimally better. Regardless, now everything tastes like bug spray or feels incredibly sticky.
The second half of the day I have been battling nausea, the same as yesterday. I do not know the factor causing it. Could be the sun, my sun burn, I had not ate in a while paired with exertion, or who knows what? I am only confident it is not dehydration, as I have drank liters of fluid. Every single time I come to a water source, I fill up. I kept walking until I found a camp near running water even (last night’s small stagnant puddle was not ideal.) I hope it is like last night, where I woke up feeling much better. Even my neck and shoulders have been more tolerable today, whether actually better or just less noticed is yet to be determined.
It takes me a significant amount of time to set up and take down camp. One day I hope to be more efficient, but as of now it took me 1.5 hours to get walking this morning.
Back to the fly issue, there is about 20 under my rain fly and it is going to drive me bonkers. The problem is I have to leave it on because it was been raining off and on. Which is also why I do not get to hammock tonight as I hoped.