Day 1 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley

7/21 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
3.8 miles

It seemed like the planning would never end.

Martin and Dorothy drove up to Yosemite with us.  They had never been inside Yosemite.  We use to go to Camp Mather on the edge of the park many times when I was a kid, but they never made it into the valley.

Mom was completely enthralled and excited by the valley.  She had never seen anything like it.  Well, almost.  She compared it to the Old Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire, which is sadly no longer.

We found a place to park on the side of the road (all the parking lots were full) and walked over to the wilderness office to get our permit.  The ranger rattled off a lot of information about bear cans, wag bags, 4 mile no camp zones, etc. After finally getting our official permit, we grabbed a sandwich lunch at Degnan’s Deli just in time for a storm to blow in. Lots of thunder and lightning and a downpour for a couple of hours.  We all took naps in our cabins in Curry Village waiting for the rain to die down.  Then Kevin and I showed Mom and Dad the Mountain Room at the lodge, site of our engagement dinner.  My nerves about the trip were really getting going.  Dad reminded me that all I had to do was get to Tuolumne Meadows, which was two nights.  And then get to Red’s Meadow, which was 4 nights.  And then do another 4 nights to get to Muir Trail Ranch.  Ideally by that point I’ll be acclimated to the elevation and strong. He recounted a story when he had just started out on his cross ocean sailing adventure to Tahiti. On their second night at sea, sailing south from San Francisco to Los Angeles they encounter a strong off shore gale and the wind was driving them in towards shore.  They scrambled to get their foulies out of storage and a different sails up but unfortunately they had packed all the important gear underneath, as he describes, the rubber duckies, beach umbrellas, and inner tubes.  Lesson learned, pack important stuff on top.  He obviously survived :).

Either way I was very nervous this morning.  Everyone in Curry Village was annoying me.  A woman let the water run as she was doing make up and brushing her teeth, completely unaware of the signs that point out we are in a severe drought.  Two teenaged girls fed some squirrels bread, ignoring another sign that stated to not feed the wildlife.  So it felt very good to finally start climbing and get beyond the day hikers.  As we were coming up to Nevada falls we passed a man finishing up his JMT trip going north bound.  He had on dirty girl gaiters that his daughter picked out for him.  We quickly chatted about gear, pack weight, and mosquitoes.  He was very friendly and easy going.  Makes me excited to meet more folks like him on the trail.

We quickly made it up past Vernal and Nevada Fall and into Little Yosemite Valley.  After pumping really brown muddy water from the river we set up camp and decided to take a nap and wait out the thunderstorm that rolled through.

Tomorrow, 12.5 to Cathedral Lakes!

Leaving Camp Curry and headed to Happy Isles
Official start of the trail!
Liberty Cap
Yay first day!
Going up!
Liberty Cap and Nevada Fall
Another shot of Liberty Cap and Nevada Fall
Top of Nevada Fall


Big tree. Baby tree.
Little Yosemite Valley. Camp for the night after a hard down pour.


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Jessica Cross

Marketing Nerd. Lover of Star Trek. Eater of Blueberry Clif bars.

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