Thursday. June 23, 2017. Yosemite (Camp 4)
Today’s adventure was a hike up to Glacier Point on the 4 Mile Trail, which is a 4.6 mile trail up out of the valley to an elevation around 7200ft. That is higher than Yosemite Falls. However today’s hike seemed much easier, still strenuous, but easier. One, the elevation is more gradual with an additional mile of trail. Two, the switch backs are longer and less rocky. Three, it is on the south rim of the valley, so the sun was not directly shining on me the whole way, especially starting at 10am. Yay shade! (Read one of my past entries about the joys of shade and water.) Four, my pack weighed like 1/4 of what it did on the falls.
So I was feeling pretty good about my 2 hour trek up to Glacier Point, even considering several conversations on the hike up. Small talk is so much more enjoyable when it provides you with an excuse to rest for a moment. Besides the fact, it is just reassuring to talk to so many friendly people. My hike was also improved because I actually played music (The Chainsmokers always known to motivate) on my phone, since I am nearing the end of the week and do not have to conserve my battery as much.
I spent over an hour at the top of Glacier Point admiring the gorgeous view of my previous hiking spots and Half Dome, taking numerous pictures of course, and eating ice cream. There is a gift shop up there and everybody was eating ice cream, which seemed only fitting being “Glacier Point.” Also, evidence that I am feeling more myself.
I however did not want to make the 4.6 mile hike back down. It was so hot, by then 1:30pm, and my body has been so sore. My calves especially, which is definitely from downhill endeavors. Plus, on Snow Creek I twisted my left knee, and it was noticeable down the easier hills of Mist Trail yesterday. So anyways, I had my first experience hitching a ride. As I was taking the shuttle to the parking lot for Glacier Point, I was focused on getting the confidence to ask the people around me if they were going down to the valley. I could not bring myself to impose that way though, and ended up just standing at the exit of the lot with my thumb out. It was a mom and her two teenage children who ended up picking me up. On the ride, I learned she was a nurse (in a prison, cannot imagine!) and thus explains her concern that I was not okay and needed a ride for a legit reason; i.e. my sunburn, heat exhaustion, whatever. She also informed me that California has been in a significant heat wave for two weeks. Which explains SO much. She said that normally the valley is always a comfortable temperature in the summer.
Tomorrow’s plans are to drive around and see the last few sites with Jesse and Alyssa before they head home to LA tomorrow afternoon. I believe the game plan involves Mirror Lake, El Cap, and Bridalveil Fall. That is one big positive on having to do day hikes now, I have been able to see almost all the valley has to offer.
Additionally, I have met some great people. Tomorrow night is going to be weird now, as I will be back to just myself at the campsite. The past three nights I have ate dinner with my makeshift family (which I am so grateful for real food vs the dehydrated meals), sat and talked for hours, and started a campfire with s’mores. Tomorrow night will be more like what I came out here to experience again.
It is interesting, because I thoroughly enjoy both sides. I love the camping, cooking out, and talking with great people. But I love the adventure and solitude of the back country. Honestly both are good for the soul in different ways. Both have been good for me this week definitely. I felt the independence and was truly able to appreciate the awe of this place seeing it by myself initially, but being with such friendly strangers improved my view point about the changed plans and even society as a whole.