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16. Mountains and lakes and a veggie camp feast in Yosemite

Monday 22nd

I had quite a good sleep and woke up at 5.30 heading to the showers before anyone else was up, they were fab showers for a campsite. Breakfast was an everything bagel with peanut butter on and camp was quickly packed away and off we set again. We headed into Yosemite on the Tioga pass which is only open for about 3 months of the year because of snow, some of the mountains still have snow on the top of them - in August!! As we passed through the gate into Yosemite there was a sign saying that we were 9,945ft above sea level. We got to the visitor centre and I eagerly asked about kayaking and rafting to be told there wasn't any because all the rivers were very low - boo hoo!

We stopped at a beautiful place called tuellueme(??) Where there were a couple of hikes that we could do, I went for the longer one which was to Dog Lake (no idea why it was called dog lake) chatting away to Mona who is a really interesting lady from Germany who has set out travelling for twelve months. We caught up with Molly and trotted up further to Lembert Dome, we got to the top and the floor turned from mud / dust to rock but an odd kind of rock that I've not seen before which was fab for scrambling up so me and Molly did all the way to the top, it turns out that there was a less strenuous way to top so top but it didn't look as much fun as the scrambling. It was beautiful up there and looked quite a lot like the Alps. We scrambled back down the way we'd come and mona was nowhere to be seen, turns out she'd gone the sensible route.

We all met again at the bottom and headed for lunch at a gorgeous little Lake. The lake was lovely but a bit chilly but i still went for a paddle. As I was wandering about there I spotted were some beautiful blue birds which turned out to be Jays but they looked like a cross between a woodpecker and a blue hoopoe. As I was watching them, there was a bit of a commotion in a tree and I saw one of these birds having a scrap with a squirrel, there didn't look like there were any nests in the tree so it looked like they were play fighting because the squirrel would chase the bird then they'd swap and the bird would chase the squirrel, do birds and mammals play fight? I don't know but it was interesting to watch, they were at it for a good few minutes.

Next stop was to see the giant sequoia trees, they think some of them could be up to 3000 years old, they're huge, there's a dead one which miners made a tunnel through so they could ride their convoy of horses through many years ago (I wondered why they went to that effort and didn't just ride round the tree!). The hike through the forest took about an hour and then we went on to our next campsite. This campsite is lovely, in the middle of a forest and just by the side of a river on the outskirts of Yosemite national park. There's a mix of options of how you can stay - tents and campervans, wooden chalets and yurts which look good fun, there's also quite a good communal room which has a TV and wifi - obviously that's where all the youngsters head straight away - ha ha! There is also a rule here that absolutely no food must be left anywhere that bears could possibly find it - it can't even be in he van as bears will smash windows to get food, it can only be in either the windowless trailer or in special bear proof boxes around the campsite. I'm half tempted to leave a trail of goodies just to entice them into camp but the others are much less enthusiastic about seeing them.

Me and mona are on dinner duty tonight and make a tofu ratatouille with boiled potatoes, mona also makes a guacamole for starters. I didn't realise til after I'd started chopping stuff that Mona used to own a vegetarian restaurant and was quite particular about how things were done (even though she said she wouldn't be) it turns out that my version of thinly sliced onions aren't the same spec as Monas are - ha ha! It was good fun cooking with her though and the food was very tasty. Her guacamole is divine (recipe noted and I will be making it at home!!), I'd chosen mixed small potatoes which included some black and purple ones like I'd eaten in Peru last year - good choice Caroline, they were scrummy. It did take ages for tea to be ready as it turns out the gas bottle was running low and we ended up eating in the dark but everyone said they enjoyed it. There was a little bit of a ruction at dinner, A couple of the newbies (I'm no longer classed as a newby) aren't quite as tolerant as I've been over the last week or so (and I'm secretly pleased that they are finding the same things as me very annoying!!). The group dynamics have definitely changed.... For the better!
It was nice to have a bottle of wine and have a natter with Kim, Mick and Mona before heading to my tent. I'm not sure if some of the youngsters are too chuffed about us staying up drinking - ha ha! It's also weird and a shame that Lisanne and Claire aren't here for the last leg of the journey, I think they'd love it.

Steps: 29,312 / 12 miles

Posted by cazbatt 22:15 Archived in USA

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