Dienstag, 24. Juni 2014

Hiking around waterfalls and lakes

California presents many opportunities what you can do on a weekend. One of the most famous ones is probably Yosemite.

Filling two cars with international folks, we organized a couple of tents and tried to leave not to late Friday evening last week. With a planned departure time of 3pm, we should have enough time to go there, but there was also a meeting scheduled from 2 to 3. It worked out well and the first few minutes of the meeting were used to discuss what to do and what not to do in Yosemite.

Somehow we managed to get started and being in the first car, we had the task to claim the campsite and build our tents, with the following result:
After setting up the tents, we waited for the second car with the food and rest of the luggage to arrive, which gave us the possibility to gaze at the stars.
Everybody arrived and after a quick planning for the next day we went to sleep on more or less comfortable ground.

Because not everybody was sure about how long a hike they could do, we chose a route, where it was possible to split up. The plan was to hike on John Muir trail up to Nevada falls and then around the back of the valley to Glacier point.
It was a very beautiful hike up to the waterfall. We had been warned by a colleague from the lab, that the valley will be crowded and you have to stand in line to get up the stairs next to the waterfalls. It was not quite as bad as he described it, but still lots of people were climbing up the stairs. Yet the landscape and everything was worth it.
Even though there were waring signs regarding bears everywhere, we didn't see that many wild animals. There were lots of squirrels, many blue jays and other birds, insects and things. I have to admit, that I was amazed by the nature and didn't really look for animals. The forests, the cliffs, rocks and waterfalls were amazing enough.
Going downhill the four mile trail we concluded the first day after a nine hour hike and more than 27 kilometers.
A well earned BBQ back at the camping, with the obligatory bonfire, we got a good nights rest and all slept better than the first night.

The next morning, our most experienced hiker found another little hike in the meadows. It would lead to a lake high in the mountains and was a 12km round trip.
The landscape was different than the day before, but as beautiful and amazing.
We even found snow on the way. And somebody was stupid enough to carry the swimming suit all the way and jump into the lake.
Before driving back to Berkeley, we stopped at another lake to take a little swim.
Taking back many good memories, Yosemite is definitely an amazing place, where I don't mind at all going back. And naturally the group picture can't be missing.