Yosemite Part 2 was the beginning of my first full day in Yosemite. I woke up Saturday morning at 5:30 – the joy of being in a different time zone . Knowing I would not get back to sleep I gathered my things to head down to the shower. However, a big surprise awaited me. When I opened my tent flap there was a black bear cub less than 100 feet from where I stood. I looked around and saw mama and two more cubs not far away. Deciding it probably wasn’t very smart to go up against a full grown black mama bear protecting her cubs, I closed my tent flap and waited a little while before heading out. I must admit that I prefer to have some sort a fence between us if I am that close to a bear. I will say that the bear cubs were awfully cute though.
After getting ready and having breakfast I headed out on my hikes. My first hike was to Mirror Lake which was a good distance from my campsite. Mirror Lake is perfectly named – there was a perfect mirror image of the mountain in the lake which I was able to capture in a photograph. Then, deciding that I needed to save my legs for later hikes, I took the tram back to the main part of the valley.
I pulled out a book of Yosemite Valley Hikes that I had purchased before my trip to determine my next hike. I decided that the Vernal Falls would be next. The good thing about that particular hike (which is 3 miles round trip) is part of the it consists of the Mist Trail (Yosemite’s signature hike) which is aptly named because you get hit with mist from Vernal Falls. Wearing shorts and a tee shirt, my hair in a pony tail with my baseball cap and my Rayban sunglasses, I put my camera strap around my neck, and grabbed several rolls of film along with my trusty water jug and I was on my way.
My first stop to take photos was the foot bridge where I used two different vantage points for my photos; one was for taking photos of Vernal Falls and the other was while I had my back to the fall when I took some photos of the canyons. I then continued on my way by way of The Mist Trail.
The last few hundred meters of the Mist Trail hike up to Vernal Falls are actually stairs cut in the side of the mountain. This happens to be where the mist is the heaviest. This also is the most dangerous place because one slip can cause you to fall in the river where the current is often too strong to overcome. It is on the Mist Trail where most Yosemite’s deaths occur. I found myself starting to panic due to my fear of heights. This actually was not because of the climb up but because I was afraid I was going to have to return the same way. Luckily, I ran into some very nice hikers who told me about taking the John Muir Trail down. Now that my panic had subsided I was on my way up the trail to the top of Vernal falls. I was surprised when I got to the top of Vernal Falls because it was large and flat with a railing overlooking the falls.
From the top of the falls I took a photo of people coming up the Mist Trail. In that photo I was fortunate enough to catch half of a rainbow.
Coming up ……Day 2 continued….the hike up to Nevada Falls, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls
If you haven’t read it yet, my arrival and the first night in Yosemite can be found here: Yosemite National Park