Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 26-Apr-2004 : Yosemite NP

Enjoyed a massive “Buck Wheat” Pancake fro breakfast. Had fun playing with Yinyan (pet dog) and Marcia (pet cat) at the Yosemite Bug Hostel.

Shot down a mineshaft descent of a hill to the Merced River, the a lovely gentle climb next to the gushing white and green water till we reached El Portal in the lower Yosemite Valley.

From there, the water got considerably whiter, and the hill considerably steeper. Two hours of seating and grinding followed as we winched our way up the Yosemite Valley.

Break at the aptly named Arch Rock entrance station. Saw a spectacular Steller's Jay (Blue Jay) birds dart across the road in front of us.

For the last several Ks of the steep climbing a stone wall separated us from the raging white water torrent far below.

Lots of photo opportunities. The scenery at the top is simply breathtaking. A massive canyon carved by a glacier through ancient granite. There hanging valleys, ultra high billowing waterfalls and sheer cliffs in every direction, and trundled up the now gently sloping valley floor decorated with pines and patches of alpine meadows.

With complete indifference to the people and the cars they sat in, a coyote with a dead squirrel in it's mouth proudly trotted straight down the road toward the oncoming traffic. It was perfectly safe, everyone stopped to look in amazement.

We did a few short walks to the Bridal Falls and Cascades. The Bridal Falls are best viewed from the entrance to their car park. Walking the track to their base is like walking in New Zealand: you can expect to get very wet (from the waterfall spray).

We checked into our pre-erected tent (actually cheaper than using our own) village at Curry Camp. We seem to be staying at a school camp.

We did a nice short walk to check out the Pines camp grounds, which were thoroughly packed out. We dutifully loaded our panniers into our assigned bear proof (but not human proof) locker after we were required to sign a waiver that we would not store food in our vehicle.

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