|With John Muir|
Since I have been hiking with Paul and Chetan most of the time for any new hikes, I never really developed any map or trail reading abilities. These skills are getting important for me, as I found out during my Mt Whitney hike last year. And also, going forward, I want to hike more with my family, I needed to learn quickly. Though these skills are easy for most normal people, but not for someone absent minded as me. And only way to acquire them was to do hikes alone.
|Bear always at Curry Village|
Chetan, on earlier discussions, mentioned Panorama Trail, recommended that I take bus up to Glacier Point and hike down on this trail. He further mentioned that it was on opposite side of Yosemite Falls. I had no idea what he meant by opposite side. Reading the map, I soon found out. At 6 AM, when I started out of from Curry Village, with map in my hand, first challenge was to find the Four Mile trailhead. The free shuttle bus does not start till 7 AM. This trail was not as popular as Mist Trail or John Muir Trail. 6 AM was a late start, the sun was up already.
Coming down, as expected was harder. I slipped 3 times, but hiking pole helped keeping me from falling. I was down before noon, total took less than 6 hours, including all the breaks. I thought I did pretty good in terms of reading the trail. And further applied my map reading learnings (read fiasco) from early morning and started walking in opposite direction to take me to Village Grill, to join my family and friends for lunch. Soon I was with them. Prem had lot of fun with Alexa, as Maria-Anand decided to join us for this whole trip. Both of them were proud Yosemite Jr Ranger. Promila was keeping them busy in various activities like drawing, Curry Village scavenger hunt and Ranger shows.
After my Marathon in March, my left knee was bothering me. I did couple of big hikes with the gang, and it would start hurting in 3-4 miles, so I was taking it easy, still running 3-4 miles every now and then. After coming down from this hike, I did not feel anything. I think it is healed up now. I feel that there are lot of good which came out of this injury. I got more aware about stretching and strengthening exercises of different parts of my leg. And I was amazed to see some of them worked so well. Also it reminds me how frail I am as human, and fortunate to be able to do what I enjoy.
After lunch, did a very good Geological hike with family and friends. Came to know that Mr Whitney and John Muir hated each other, as Whitney (studied at Yale and Harvard) proposed that Yosemite Valley was created by cataclysmic sinking of valley floor, which turned out not to be true, while John Muir(never graduated) argued for glacial action; How all peaks are named after guys and lakes after their wives. Half Dome was one of very few peaks which was not named after a person, as Mr Whitney thought, at that time, that nobody would ever be able to stand on top of Half Dome.
Watched another great show in amphitheater in Curry Village in evening from Steven Riley who draws and writes kid’s books and live in Yosemite Valley with his family. Slept early, to be ready to hike Vernal and Nevada falls next day with family. Prem had done Nevada Falls last year, and wanted to do the same this year. We decided to do Nevada Falls by John Muir Trail, and then loop back to come down by Vernal Falls. We packed our stuff in car and did our goodbyes to Grover family.
|Top of Nevada Falls|
|Top of Vernal Falls|
I am looking forward to go back to Yosemite Valley and do Clouds Rest hike, Four Mile Trail and Panorama trail; and at some point would like to do some backpacking.