DAY TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT
I should know better. A family vacation is not the same as a hiking vacation. Here we are in one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the world and I am extremely limited in the amount of hiking that I am able to do. Don't get me wrong. I understand the importance of family time but I just wish I had a little bit more time to roam while I'm here.
I'm here with the wife, the boys and my father-in-law, or Papa to the boys. This is Papa's first time to Yosemite. We really wish we could have brought him in the spring while the falls are in their full glory but that'll have to wait. There is still plenty to see here, though.
The last time I was here without the family I climbed this. My friend, Greg, and I did a climb on this, the North Dome, called Crest Jewel. It is a several thousand foot slog up a steep gully, the North Dome Gully and then a ten pitch 5.10a rock climb to the top. The climb is spectacular and there's more info here. Check out the photos of the climb.
Nik found a new friend. The squirrels in Yosemite are the fattest I have ever seen. Don't worry. He knows not to feed them.
He also found a few buddies cruising the meadow. And, no Son, you can't take them home.
After the family time doing family things and getting our abode ready for the night at the Housekeeping Camp, or hell on earth if you're actually trying to sleep, I only had time to do the Mist Trail to past Vernal Fall and about 1/2 way to Nevada Fall.
The first part of the trail is paved. It's easy to see why; there are millions of people who do this hike every year. If it weren't paved the trench would be about a hundred feet deep.
If I were here alone I would consider a day hike to Tuolumne Meadows. That would be truly awesome but alas! that'll have to wait. A day hike to Whitney is probably out of the question. The car shuttle would be too much of a hassle.
Yosemite is like Disneyland except you can't get a Fast Pass.
Vernal Falls is nothing like it is in spring when it thunders over its precipice. Compared to other times of year this is a trickle. I've never been to Yosemite this late in the summer and probably won't again. April and May seem so to me to be the best months to come.
Public restrooms are available. Maybe next time I can convince the wife to come up on this hike. She did it on our honeymoon here but that was long ago.
From a different angle the falls send out a rainbow. In spring the Mist Trail is deluged with water from the Falls but not this time. This is as good as it gets.
From past the bridge to the top of the falls is only .3 miles but it will probably be the longest .3 miles a lot of these people will ever do.
There are about a million of these granite steps and it's steep. Try doing this section without stopping like I did. It's WAY better than a Stair Master®.
From the top I hike about 1/2 way to Nevada Falls. I've got to get back to camp to save the family from potentially ravenous squirrels and other campers playing bad 80's music.
On my way back North Dome taunts me. I didn't get to do any major hiking this time but don't worry; I'll be back.