Monday, June 2, 2014

Part 1: The trip that almost didn't happen.


After months of preparation and planning, wouldn't you know that I tiny issue like a flu almost killed my trip.

Tuesday, May 20th - After work, I joined a few co-workers and hiked a quick 6 mile loop in the Verdugo Mountains.  Underestimating the weather, I didn't bring anything to keep me warm.  Seeing how warm it has been, I never considered that the weather would have been as cool as it was even at low elevation (~3000 ft.).  After completing the hike, I already felt a head-cold coming along...I knew this wasn't going to be good.  As soon as I came later that evening, I took a shot of some Booster C.

Wednesday, May 21st - 6:30 AM, slowly getting up, I feel warm but I needed to go to work.  Being at work felt awful and the 8 hour day felt long...6PM could not come quick enough.

Thursday, May 22nd - 7:45 AM, groggy, ears ringing, and the feeling of weight on my shoulders...I grabbed the thermometer and it reads 104.3 degrees.  Not good, not good at all.  Only 1 day left till the trip, I had to do something drastic to recover and I needed to do this FAST!  Called in sick and crashed back to bed...pretty much was my whole day.  Later that evening, my fever breaks to 101 and I feel slightly better.  Time to pack...loaded my bear canister with 4 days worth of food and loaded my pack with all my gear - I didn't bother to weigh anything and I didn't care how light or heavy my pack was.  

Friday, May 23rd - 6:00 AM, day of the trip.  Fever finally at under 100 degrees.  Still feeling off but comfortable enough for the long drive.  After picking up a friend later that morning, I'm finally off to Yosemite.

It has been a crazy 3 days of hell but I wouldn't miss this trip for the world.  It's my first time in Yosemite after all, and I didn't want anything to get in the way of that...not even my health.

The drive to Yosemite was nice.  Traffic was mostly light and whatever heavy traffic we did encounter passed quickly.  Weather was beautiful and the skies were clear.  Last report from the Yosemite Rangers was that all roads in Yosemite were all open.  Whatever snowfall that caused the road closures earlier during the week have since dried off.

We arrived at the Park at 3:20 PM which left us with less than an hour to pick up our permits for Saturday - our weekend destination was Ostrander Lake.  We got to the Wawona Visitor and Permit Center shortly after and received our permits for the weekend...I can breathe now.  Time to head to the Village...another 32 miles down the road.

Before arriving at the Village, I noticed a few people looking over to the left. Curious, I parked on a pull-out to the right and this is what I see...holy $@%# what a view. I can't explain what I'm feeling at this point...I just had to pinch myself because I still couldn't believe I'm here. 

After taking our photos from this iconic overlook, we continue on to the Village.  We needed some supplies for our trip like Nyquil, Shot Bloks, etc.  Yosemite at this time of the year was packed...almost all car camping areas where full and the roads were filled with cars, bikes, hikers, and tourists.  

Footbridge to Backpackers Camp
5:00PM, we arrive at the Backpackers Camp where we plan on staying for our first night.  It looks like we arrived just in time...the camp was almost full and most of the good spots taken.  Bear warning signs everywhere...this is the first time that I'm truly freaked out by Bears.

That evening, I barely sleep. The combination of excitement and my fever slowing coming back prevented me from getting a good nights sleep.  Not to mention a loud bang from what sounded like a gunshot  This kept me alert along with loud footsteps from rangers constantly walking around with beacons to what I imagine is a tracking device to find a bear running rampant around the grounds.

6:00 AM, I decided to get out of the tent and start finalizing what food I need to bring to Ostrander Lake.  I realize that I have overpacked on food.  Luckily there are bear boxes by the trailhead and I can store food there.

7:10 AM, I leave camp to find my car...I get lost and waste 20 minutes walking around.  I get back to camp and ask one of my friends if she remembered where I parked...clearly my brain is still not with me despite having 2 cups of coffee.  8:00 AM, I finally find where I was by the trailhead to Happy Isles.

By 8:30 AM, we're on our way to Glacier Point Road to the Lost Bear Meadow Trailhead to Ostrander Lake.

9:00 AM, we arrive at the trailhead.  Feeling energized and good...I feel ready to hike the short 6 miles to Ostrander Lake.  Most of the hike the trail is flat - it only gets steep for the last 3 miles or so of the hike.  Due to not feeling 100%, the uphill stretch affected me and it felt like a chore...nothing else to do but put one foot in front of the other, it will end soon.

Part 2 Coming Next...stay tuned.


  1. Glad you had a good time! Sounds like it was an up hill battle in many ways!

    1. It was but I was glad that I still made the effort to make the trip. More on the story in part 2 :)