Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quiet night at Dry Gulch. Wet night at Pinewood campground.

Once I got over thinking the site manager at Dry Gulch may be an ax murderer, I managed to catch some shut-eye. Marc slept soundly. Our plan Tuesday morning was to drive back to Yosemite Valley, for the 8:00 sign up for campsites. We arrived a bit early and managed to be second in line! Translation: although all of the campsites are full, there are always a few cancellations. Being second on the list was a good omen and we felt sure we would not be homeless that night.

In the mean time, we had most of the day to explore with a deadline of 3:00 to be back at the reservation desk to secure our campsite.

Vernal Falls
The Mist trail, aptly named, takes you up, up, up to view two amazing waterfalls, Vernal comes first and then Nevada. On much of the trail you are covered with mist from the powerful falls, which thankfully, works as a cooling mechanism as you sweat your way upward! The trip is about 5.5K each way, and a lot like the Grouse Grind for at least half of the hike up. So it is not an easy walk in the park. We had a great day for it, — moderate temperatures — and clear skies to view the falls.

Nevada Falls
The falls are without a doubt, worth the effort. I pooped out about half an hour from the top of Nevada falls, but my Billy goat husband, made it to the top without any effort. We met at the bottom in enough time to return to the reservation station and secure our campsite at Pinewood campground!

Now here is the irony. For the first time so far this trip, we actually knew where we were sleeping. We put our tent up and cleaned ourselves up in the campsite facilities. We couldn’t believe how organized we were, and so early! And we were quite excited about sleeping in the tent that night! That's where the irony kicks in. Just as we finished all of our preparations, there was a large clap of thunder and the skies opened up and dumped so much water that all of the roads and parking lots and campsites in the entire valley were flooded almost immediately.

We sat in the car for a while, with the rain pounding on the windshield, our tent drenched, then decided to head for Curry Village (Just like Whistler Village, except not at all like Whistler Village. Only two or three restaurants, and one grocery store.). In the middle of the small strip of eateries was a lounge. People were sleeping on couches, working on their computers, drinking beer and eating all sorts of take out food. A sign on one wall said “complimentary dryers across the street at housekeeping”. Many languages could be heard, and several tables of friends were playing cards.

It took us a while to figure it out, but apparently this was a place for all of us drowned rats to hang out until the rain subsided — Yosemite’s Noah’s ark. Marc spied an empty electrical outlet, I ran to the car to fetch my computer. We plugged in all of our electronics and spent the next couple of hours waiting out the storm.

When we arrived back at our campsite, our tent was still there, but a little worse for wear, having been splashed with mud from the downpour. At this point, the car was looking pretty attractive! So even with the best of intentions, our tent has yet to be used. We found ourselves once again Tuesday night tucked in, in our carmotel, happy as clams.

PS: Wednesday morning now. Night passed without incident. Our tent fared well on its own in a beautiful setting. We are now eating breakfast at the Curry Village buffet, which is packed with campers like us ready for a hot meal. The sun is shining and it should be a great day!

Pinewood Campground at dawn, Yosemite Valley

1 comment:

  1. I'm following you all the way and hoping for better weather. The scenery is excellent though...and I'm loving the food!