Day 25 and 26: Yosemite National Park and drive to Coarsegold, CA

Following our own path.  On our last full day in Yosemite, we awoke without any real plan….should we head back to the valley to view the amazing always talked about Yosemite falls while battling heat and crowds?  Well, we opted for hiking in the high sierra’s, which I’m glad we did. We took advice from our trusted and favorite ranger, Jeff and walked to May Lake.  This hike took us back east on the road we came in to the park, then two miles on a rough road into the wilderness just to pick up the hike.  Awesome.  The road was desolate and we thought a bear was going to jump out at any moment…which one never did.  But as we came upon the trail head to our hike, we were met with a group of cars…..we guessed that this hike was not a well kept secret.  This did not matter, the hike followed for over one mile over granite rock leading into a beautiful meadow lake…lovely.  This lake hosts many backpacker tents and the high mountain sierra mountain club tents…we talked to the guy working the sierra club tent and he recommended continuing the hike up mount Hoffman to the spot in which john Muir himself was quoted as saying, “It’s at this spot that I tend to linger than any other point”.  This was enough to make us continue, and I’m glad we did.  The hike that followed was such a highlight, it wound up and around, through meadows and marshy land, and then up switch back after switch back of scrabble rock, in which one step forward often resulted in two steps back.  But what an amazing view when you stopped the push forward and turned around at the view of the mountains and of half dome in the distance….it was breathtaking.  Henna and I stopped right before the top of the mountain and let Noel continue on so he saw the top, some snow, and the valley behind Mt. Hoffman.  In my later years, being that high on a mountain can sometimes give me vertigo and Henna  and I were content to wait Noel’s return.  We were happy watching marmots play atop their high sierra abode.  We came down tired and happy with our dinner back at our campsite.  We chatted with our wonderful neighbors who gave us four of their fresh chicken eggs…that made the most yummy scrambled eggs ever, went on  nature hike with Jeff, then returned to an uneventful bear night.

We awoke early today, packed up our camp and heading into the valley to say goodbye and to search for the beauty that our ranger told us bout…….we somehow missed it our first go round.  We had breakfast at a semi deserted beach and swam for a bit.  We ran into friend from the beginning of our trip who is staying at the park doing research.  Ellen is her name and she is from Crystal Lake.  We chatted for a bit, and then we were off….we found more water holes to swim in, lovely meadows and we made peace with the valley, although the temperature was teetering on one hundred.

We left the park, through the famous tunnel view, and made a stop at Mariposa Grove to see a magnificent fifteen year old sequoia…..we were hot and the hybrid shuttle bus entailed long lines…but we found ourselves at a not so nice KOA off 41. Henna and I talked about how not everything can work out perfectly on a trip, that there always is a low point.   The pool was crowded, we have not figured out what lives in the two inch holes the inhabit the ground….but the food was yummy, the stars are bright and we have kept the rain flap off for tonight, yep that’s following our own path.

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