Yosemite Aug 2019

random trip report

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Aug 18

Noah and I drive to the Crane Flat campground, stopping at the Oakdale Save Mart to buy large quantities of food; Noah is in a stage where he eats a helluva lot.

We pitch camp, go for a walk, eat fried chicken for dinner, and retire. Although we're comfortable, Noah only sleeps a few hours, and I don't sleep at all :-(

Aug 19

We get moving 6:30 or so. The Crane Flat gas station doesn't open until 8, so no coffee for me :-(

We drive to the May Lake trailhead. We both feel very tired. The walk to May Lake goes by fast.

Noah at May Lake

We continue, but after 15 minutes Noah needs to stop. We agree that he'll return to May Lake while I summit.

My legs have no bounce. I shift in first gear, and just grind away, one foot in front of the other. Eventually I make it to the top. Another pair of hikers is there.

Looking down near summit

Half Dome in distance

Summit plateau; other hiker visible

The Thumb

I descend, slipping and falling a couple of times.

May Lake

I spend some time with Bertha the Ponderosa, apologizing for my absence last year.

Me and Bertha

Noah and I return to the car. We're both feeling kind of beat. We decide to skip further activities (like Puppy Dome) and just drive straight to Lee Vining.

Mono Cone is closed; I get ice cream at the Lee Vining Market. Our motel (Lake View Lodge) turns out to be fabulous: nice room, beautiful shady landscaped grounds, and a small restaurant (Epic Cafe) in the back.

We walk into town. I notice a sign for the Historical Museum and Upside-Down House on a side street, and we explore that (although the museum is closed). Noah spots a basketball court so we return in the car and shoot hoops.

There's a long line at Epic Cafe so we settle for Nicely's for dinner. We watch TV and retire at 9:30. We sleep like babies for 10+ hours.

Aug 20

I go into town for a latte and danish, then we go to the Mobil station where Noah gets the breakfast burrito.

We decide against Conness; Noah's still not 100%. I have energy but also some aches and pains, including a sore achilles tendon.

Instead, we drive to Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town that's now a state park. I find it very moving - somehow I can sense the ghosts of its inhabitants, and I can imagine their hard-scrabble lives, as if my brain were an antenna picking up thousands of life stories transmitted from a century ago. Some of my ancestors on my mother's side were settlers and miners; who knows, maybe some of them lived here.

We stop for soft-serve in Bridgeport, then drive over Sonora Pass, which is spectacular. We stop at the pass and go for a short hike on a beautiful trail that goes south from there. We do a little bushwhack on the return. Excellent.

A bit farther on we stop at a large boulder pile and scramble to the top; I think this is the same place I climbed with Liza a while back.

We stop in Jamestown for a late Subway lunch; the rest of the drive is pleasant and we're home at 6:30.

Post-mortem: I think I'm done with camping, forever. Life with no sleep is no fun.

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