19 July 2008

We waited for the valley shuttle to take us to the vistor’s center so we could catch the shuttle up to Glacier Point.  We waited for more than 10 minutes, but nothing came.  Since we were short on time, we drove over to the vistor’s center.  After looking around for a while, we didn’t see a shuttle, so we headed back toward the car.

We spotted a tour desk next to the Village Store, so we asked the person behind the counter where we were supposed to be for the shuttle.  She told us we should have been at Yosimite Lodge.  We rescheduled for tomorrow without any problems.

Now we had to decide what to do today since our plans for the day were blown.  We decided to hike the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail today, since we planned to do it anyway before we left.

We put the car in the day use parking lot and caught a shuttle to Camp 4, near where the trailhead is.  We found the trail after a little looking at 9:30 a.m.

The trail immediately starts up.  Teagan was not fully awake, and she was needing frequent breaks at the beginning.  Richard was doing fine to begin with.  The trail consisted of a sequence of switchbacks to begin with.  Then it leveled off and went down.  After that, the trail went up mercilessly.  Richard began to fade on this part, and Teagan was now fully awake and raring to go.  Eventually, Richard needed frequent breaks and lots of water.

Teagan went on to the overlook since Richard wasn’t sure he could, or even wanted to, make it to the top.  With about 0.2 mile left, Richard passed Teagan coming back down.  Teagan didn’t want to go back to the overlook, so we agreed that Teagan would find some shade on the way down and await Richard, who proceeded to the overlook.

The top of the trail leads to a pool of water and some cascades near where the fall begins.  Another part of the trail leads to the overlook.  The rails at the overlook have been moved back for safety to the point where you really can’t see much of the waterfall from behind the rails.

Richard headed back up the steps to leave the overlook and found Teagan at the top of the trail.  They proceeded down at 1:50 p.m.

The trip down was going much better than the trip up.  We were making good pace.  We just had to be careful we didn’t slip on any of the sandy rocks.  The temperature in the valley was about 98 degrees, but the occassional shade and breeze made the trail reasonably bearable.  Nevertheless, Richard began to feel nauseated and eventually threw up a lot of the water he had consumed.  After that, he felt a little better.

We proceeded down the trail and finished around 4:00 p.m. and headed to the shuttle stop.

The trail was 6.8 miles roundtrip with an advertised elevation increase of 2,500 feet.  That makes it a pretty steep trail.  It was a little more than Richard could handle, and near the limit of what Teagan could handle.  She was pushed a little on the trail.

We got back to the car and drove back to Curry Village.  Teagan got a cheeseburger at the bar there, then we headed back to the tent cabin where Richard collapsed.

After a rest period for Richard, and a texting period for Teagan, Richard found the showers and returned to see if Teagan wanted to eat again.

We headed to the buffet at the Dining Pavilion and had a good meal.  Then we returned to the tent to get ready for our hike tomorrow.

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