California Dazzling: A Roadtrip Vacation Spectacular - Last Update and Final Thoughts 11/8

  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Rosie, thanks for bumping my thread!! I promise I will get it moving again soon!! It is nearly a month since I last posted... :scared1: Will try to get some work on it done tongit! :thumbsup2

    And Marv, I am very impressed on your language skills! Looking forward to chatting with you in German the next time I see you! ::yes::
     

    GoofyFan1515

    DIS Dad #174
    Joined
    May 23, 2012
    And Marv, I am very impressed on your language skills! Looking forward to chatting with you in German the next time I see you! ::yes::
    Yes, that will be wonderful. I really hate I won't be seeing you any time soon.....probably for a long long time. .....at least NOW that is. :eek: :blush: Hmpf....... :mad:
     
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    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Well then he is a keeper... :love:
    Yes, Michael is very much a keeper!! :cloud9:

    :scared1: I missed that the fan was ON at first ----- OUCH. I guess for me I am not usually in the way of ceiling fans. If I were in danger other people might get their heads chopped off!!! :rotfl:
    That is a good point. I think I was even jumping up trying to get out of the hoodie prison!

    I am glad you were okay and yes I have been attacked by the hoodie too and gotten stuck. :rotfl2::rotfl2:
    Why are those things so hard to back over your head??? :confused3
    I am so happy that someone else can relate to the hoodie entanglement! I think I might be more inclined in the future to buy hoodies with a zipper!

    Looks like a lovely day with a great tour, minus perhaps the tour guide. You got some great pictures and yes a place I would love to visit. A simple and "safe" dinner looked okay - like you said hard to really mess it up.
    It was a lovely day. However, in hindsight I think that our days at Yosemite got better every day. So there are more highlights (and a definite lowlight) to come!
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    The mountain lion is even more scared of you. Or so they say.
    Yes, but would you want to put it to a test if what THEY say is correct??? Not me!

    ::yes:: Seeing the Milky Way at Bryce Canyon remains one of our travel highlights.
    It gives you a totally different understanding of what light pollution means...

    I heard the spring was a good time, to catch it when the snow is melting. If, you know, there is any snow.
    Yes, definitely! I think May is the most busy month there.

    :eek: Wow... amazing to see the effects of the drought like that.
    To be fair, I think this water fall is nearly always dry in the summer.

    BLASPHEMY!!!!

    Once I was in a restaurant in California and they offered a "steak sandwich" on the menu. I ordered it and received a piece of sirloin steak and one slice of garlic bread. :confused3
    I am pretty sure every place in the world has restaurants with boring sandwiches. And maybe you were at a Danish restaurant - the Danes are famous for their open faced sandwiches. Which is how most Germans would eat sandwiches, too. Why bother with a second slice of bread...

    It reminds me quite a bit of the Old Faithful Inn.
    Or the Wilderness Lodge... :goodvibes:thumbsup2

    5:00 p.m.? That does seem incredibly early to close
    I think it was because of the sun not setting, but being out of site in the valley. Those mountains cast long shadows.

    Yeah...you really can't avoid that. It would be nice if the food was better at those prices.
    There will be some better food coming up!

    Wow, that's a stunning photo!
    Such good luck - it was a point and shoot through the window of a driving bus. Never expected it to turn out that well! Of course, I did not post the other ten horrible ones.

    This was worth posting for both the view and the hair!
    :rotfl2: Thanks!!

    Again? Doesn't he already sleep till noon every morning?
    He needs a lot of sleep - similar to a baby...

    :rotfl2:Might want to go back to that "how much I adore you" bit again...
    :thumbsup2

    Oooh! Teach us some German profanity!:hyper:
    I don't want to get banned from the DIS!! I nearly used a very bad word (according to Michael) in my next update. I got it back from him with a big disclaimer at the beginning that I need to change a word as otherwise I would upset everyone on the DIS because it is so bad! I had no idea. I find it strange how different cultural sensibilities are. There are words which you can translate directly form one language into the other and in both languages they have the same meaning. But in one it is a really bad word and in the other it is not an issue. We had a few discussions about this...

    That truly is a missed opportunity. Can you re-enact this episode, with the 80's hair too?:rotfl:
    I guess this is one of the occasions where Marv's German would come in handy to say: Hmpf! :sad2:
     
  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Yes, the conditions weren't much better when I was there. This is also the case where I live and we have numerous waterfalls in the area. Late spring after the heavier rains is always the best time to view them, just like the Yosemite area after the snows melt.
    It is the same in the Alps. But there would still be more water in summer. California is just very dry in the summer. While the Alps get plenty of precipitation year round.

    I agree with Michael...........yeah, not so much! :confused3
    Well, there were some drops!!

    Definitely one of my top tourist destinations! :rolleyes1
    Just because people nowadays just post selfies on Facebook and don't send post cards anymore, I thought it gave the Village more of a feeling of being a real village and not just a few houses.

    What? Where's that lettuce infused bun you have shown a propensity for??? :confused:
    One cannot always eat carb free sandwiches, especially not if one is a bread snob!

    Okay children, let's play nice........ :sad2:
    We always do!!

    That was my first thought too. Disney buses come around pretty often too...........just not necessarily headed to the park you are trying to visit. :headache:
    The good thing at Yosemite is that you are already at the park you want to go to!! :rotfl:

    Sadly, I'm guessing very few people take advantage of this feature........... :rolleyes2
    Actually, there were plenty of people sitting in the lobby when we were there for dinner the next evening.

    So did you take advantage??? :stir:
    Nope! I don't post selfies on Facebook when on vacation, but the postcards that I wrote were sent later.

    Very spacious.........sorta like Biergarten. :scratchin
    Yes, it kind of has a dining hall atmosphere!

    Simply gorgeous!!! :goodvibes
    The views in the valley will never grow old!

    USA! USA! USA! :woohoo:
    Are you aware that the hot dog is nothing but a German Wieder Würstchen that was imported to the US by German immigrants??? :goodvibes (and I promise that I will never make you try to pronounce the word Würstchen!! Which, by the way means sausage, but can also be used as a very unfriendly description of a person, kind of like the English word loser.)

    Yes, I got that impression with the very sedate people you like to dine with at 50's Prime Time.......... :laughing:
    We were definitely on the shy side there...

    Hey, she has a sense of humor. The time we hung out a lot at Disney I found myself laughing at her quite a bit! Oh, maybe that was for a totally different reason.......... ;)
    Ok, why does everyone make me want to use the wonderful word Hmpf! over and over again???? :headache:

    Sharing a sunset is always a nice way to put a ribbon on a good day! :love:
    That is a lovely way of saying it!

    Unfortunately I didn't get to spend any time in Yosemite at night, but I did get a few good early morning pictures. :cool1:
    Well, you might guess that we didn't...

    Oh, gotta LOVE that hair!!! You should go back to that style........... :lmao:
    To be honest, I hated my hair then! The problem is that I have natural curl and I just had no clue on how to manage it. I remember that on this vacation my aunt asked me why I did not use any conditioner and I had no idea what this was as in Germany conditioners were not available - yet. I came home with three or four bottles of conditioner and was so happy to have found something that made my hair manageable! It wasn't until around 1990 that I was able to get conditioner in Germany. :scared1:

    Half undressed and an image that would sear into one's consciousness??? I'm pretty sure she would be more than just a global sensation........ :rotfl2:
    Na, I have no interest in being a global sensation!!! And I think it would not be good for my job either.
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    We have Granita over here. I assume it's very similar.
    Oh, yes! I never thought of that. Here you can sometimes get Granita as a dessert in Italian restaurants. And yes, this is definitely very much the same!

    That would be the reason for stopping in Tulare.
    Yes, non-Americans love their outlet shopping on vacation! I am currently trying to lose weight and I already promised myself that when I get to goal weight I will go on a big shopping trip!

    I love sequoias too!!!
    Aren't they amazing!

    Poor Cap Oblivious.

    Bwa ha ha ha ha.
    :rotfl2:

    Lucky you! Love being able to see bears in the wild.
    Yes, they are quite amazing! I never thought I would enjoy animal watching, but discovered how fantastic this is on my trip to Namibia where we spent three days in the National Park watching the animals!

    Eucalyptus trees are like that too.
    Interesting. The only thing I know about eucalyptus is that it is quite a weed and some mediterranean countries have huge difficulties getting rid of them as they just take over.

    You and M kept driving with that tyre??? YIKES!
    It was really more cosmetic, but I was not happy with it at all!

    That always surprises me as well that in all NP I visit in the US, there are always more international visitors than Americans.
    The strange thing is that in so many other tourist destinations in the US, there are plenty of American tourists. Just not in the NPs.
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Why does everyone always have to update like crazy while we are on vacation? :rotfl2:
    Well, once you were back from vacation, I took a nice long break in updating... :rolleyes1

    But none the less, I am finally all caught up again and again too much to comment on, just want to say that the scenery is just breathtaking and I love that photo of you and your aunt. Memories!
    It is such a beautiful place!! Have you ever been to the Königssee close to Berchtesgaden? This is a place where I want to take Michael (maybe this summer) and it is a spot that to me has a similar breathtaking beauty.

    I just need to get close enough, close enough. Last year the conference was in Palm Springs and we did Disney, and San Diego before heading out to Palm Springs. Most times due to getting time away from work, I can only add a few days to the conference.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for getting close enough! Where is this years conference?

    Keeping up!!
    Hi Rosie!! :goodvibes
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Awesome, you told me Justin time! ;)
    Yes, that's why I started talking about beavers! :rolleyes1

    WOW! I guess once in a while you can get rather lucky with shots. There have been some good ones with my phone I've gotten too. Rare, but it does happen.
    I think a better camera with all kind of options just enhances your chances that the camera actually does what you want. But now and then the stupid camera lucky out. Or as we would say in German: Even the blind chicken finds a corn now and then.

    I know I will catch flack from Rosie for this, but..............
    Because they're all busy reading when you're updating like crazy the rest of the time...........??? :rolleyes1
    :rotfl2:

    For a few years now I've been coached by the best! :goodvibes
    :thumbsup2 And you are also always so thoughtful to post birthday greetings in German! That is very much appreciated!

    Yeah, definitely don't ask Pat for confirmation..........she lies! :worried:
    :scared1: Pat lies??? I would have always thought that she is such a honest person!!!! :rotfl2:

    That is my claim and is absolutely true , I have never or anyone else ever accused you of being innocent:laughing::laughing::laughing:
    :rotfl:
     
  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Happy Feet - Part 1

    August 20: Hike, Happy Isles Nature Center, Mirror Lake, Dinner at the Ahwahnee

    The ceiling fan incident the previous evening made me afraid that this would disturb my plans for the next day, but I was very happy when I woke up and my fingers felt fine.

    This day I got up relatively early to go on a hike. Michael had decided to opt out of any hiking. The problem was that during our days there, there was a real heatwave happening. The temperatures were in the high 90s every day. And this kind of weather is really not conducive for mountain climbing. Unless you have a really early start – mornings were quite bearable as it cooled down nicely during the night. I guess, you all will see where Michael’s problem with that scenario was. And I think splitting up was the smart thing to do. This way, I could start as early as I wanted instead of being annoyed that Michael was not moving as early as I would have wanted, which would then have resulted in both of us being grumpy (one because of the early morning, the other because the morning was not early enough) and then having to hike in the hot weather.

    Still, since it was quite late by the time we were back yesterday, I had set my alarm for 7:45 a.m., so not horribly early. My plan was to hike to Vernal Fall. The official description of this trail is:

    Top of Vernal Fall
    Distance: 2.4 mi (3.9 km) round trip (via Mist Trail)
    Elevation gain: 1000 ft (300 m)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Time: 3 hours

    The trail starts at the Happy Isles Nature Center, which is one of the bus stops for the shuttle buses. Very convenient! So, I jumped on a shuttle bus and it took me about 25 minutes to get to the start of the trail. On the way to the shuttle bus I saw a very pretty bird:



    Upon arrival at Happy Isles I saw that this was really quite an interesting spot, too.



    I made a note that we should check this out later.

    There were plenty of people setting out for the same hike, but it was not too crowded yet. It was also pleasantly cool still!

    The reason why I wanted to do this hike is that I think I did this with my aunt in the 80s. I remember that we walked to one spot together and then I hiked up some more on my own. Looking at my photo album of that trip, I don’t have any pictures. But there is a postcard of Vernal fall next to a strip of film with a notice from the photo service that this roll was damaged and that’s why they did not develop those pictures. Seems an indicator that my pictures from Vernal Falls are lost. But I did not write anything in that album…

    However, as soon as I started out on the trail, I realized that there was one thing that I did not remember either: How steep the trail was! I remembered it to be flat up to the stop where my aunt waited – which I thought was the Vernal Falls Bridge from where you have a view of the waterfall.

    I first had to cross the river that originate from the waterfall:



    There were some posts with information about the trail:



    The trail started out with a nice climb, not too bad:



    Lots of pretty views:





    I think this picture is from Vernal Falls Bridge. But because of the sunlight, you don’t have much of a view at this time of day…



    At this point was also a water fountain and I made use of that and refilled my water bottle.

    Until there the trail was quite steep, but still a very nice paved trail. You could push a stroller up to this point, but it would be quite some work because of how much it ws uphill.

    But then the stairs started! And soon I got a view of the waterfall:



    As you can see, there are people on the trail, but it was not a constant row of people. That would change later!



    I don’t understand people who litter along the trail, but here I came across the most bizarre piece of garbage left on the side of the trail:



    Getting closer to the waterfall, but still quite a bit until I would get to the top:





    Some people asked me to take their picture and then they were nice enough to take mine as well. After that was done and they had started to move again, I heard that they were actually talking German to each other. That was funny as we had spoken English the whole time! Also, I noted that on this trail there were plenty of serious hikers that obviously were starting on some back country trails as they had a lot of luggage with them. And this was the place where I noticed that most of the people around me actually were Americans.

    As you can see, there is not a lot of water, but there is still a decent amount of water in this waterfall!





    And then my camera died! I thought it was broken, but luckily it turned out that it only had lost all of its battery. Not sure how that happened as I had charged it. But, I was happy that I still had my phone with me.

    A view of the trail that I came up on:



    And the area on top of the fall looking down to the river that is about to fall:





    more falling water:



    The area up there was very beautiful! I sat there for quite a while, enjoyed some of the provisions I had brought: a peach, a cereal bar and some peanut cookies. And of course had plenty of water from my water bottle!









    Up here it was sunny, but still not baking hot! And I had made it up there in one hour and 15 minutes. I had told Michael that I would be back by noon and it was only 10 a.m. now. So, I thought I could venture on a little bit before turning back.

    There were two options: One was to go up to Nevada Fall, which was the next water fall, kind of one level up. And the other one was to make my way over to the John Muir Trail that would then lead me back to the valley, so this would be a loop then instead of climbing down all those stairs. I like loop trails. I never really approve of hiking back the same way that I came. Also, the other trail supposedly was less steep and I really was not looking forward to climbing down all those stairs.

    So, when I got to the signpost that indicated the trail for the John Muir Trail, I decided to go this way.



    The trail was beautiful, but it was strange that it continued to climb up – it did not go down.



    Continued in Part 2
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Happy Feet - Part 2

    And then I started to become more and more aware of the fact that while it had been really busy on that other trail, no one else was using this trail!! I was totally on my own. At first it did not bother me, but then I started to think of bears and mountain lions and I got really scared!!

    I have known anyone who has ever been injured or killed by a bear or mountain lion, so you would have been the first. In other words, I think you were very safe.

    The views were amazing from this trail:





    I knew that this trail was connecting to the other trail, the real John Muir Trail so I hoped that I would soon get there and then there would be more people. But that was not the case. So, after about 15 minutes I realized that what I was doing was not good and actually could be potentially dangerous! So, I turned around. By now, I was really really scared! I kept making noises on my own, hoping that if any bear was around that that would scare them away. Most likely I was not nearly noisy enough though.
    You should have used your scary sounds on the ceiling fan! But I made it down to the place where my trail split away without any difficulty. In hindsight this was really a stupid decision. I should have followed the trail to the bottom of Nevada Fall, where I would have had a beautiful view and the trail would have been far easier to walk.

    I started to go down then and by now there were a million people coming up!

    The sun had shifted by now and there was much more sun on the waterfall – as well as on the trail.



    There even was a little rainbow effect in the water fall.



    I was really happy about my relative early start that gave me a much more pleasant hiking experience!

    Down by Vernal Fall Bridge there was now a better view as well:



    And then I started to see the real masses!! So many people on that trail. And so many of them totally not equipped for even that easy part of the trail. I saw so many people with flip flops!! Who would ever think about any kind of trail in the countryside that should be walked in flip flops????

    I made my way down and was so happy about my morning walk and felt great! But I was also hot and sweaty now and was looking forward to some lunch!

    I jumped on a shuttle bus and got back to the hotel where I found Michael sitting on our patio enjoying the peacefulness. He told me that he had seen two deer who came by our patio.

    We decided to get some lunch at the food court. I went for a Caesar Salad:



    Michael wanted a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich after he saw them being prepared yesterday when we had our hotdogs.



    The food was tasty, but as I said yesterday, they charge for the location. We also had a coffee after lunch and that was definitely far too pricey!
    I remember liking the sandwich a lot.

    I convinced Michael that we should go and check out the Happy Isles Nature Reserve, so this is what we did.

    This little area is along the river that comes down from Vernal Falls, which is already the Merced River.







    This lovely little stream can turn into some mighty river in different weather conditions. They had a display there about the streamgage they have there:



    This is important to give warnings to places downstream in case a flood is about to come.

    Michael found a place to climb down to the river and sat there a little while to put his feet into the water. He came back and told me that his feet are now very happy – and that’s how this place became Happy Feets instead of Happy Isles!

    Shouldn't that pic of my Happy Feet be here?

    (we discussed this as I could not find a foot picture and came to the conclusion that Michael took that picture on his phone - if I get it from him, I will update here and post it on the thread, so that you know what his happy feet look like!)

    There was a small visitor center that was focusing on the different wildlife in the area:





    So, I finally saw a bear and a mountain lion during my wanderings. Luckily they were both not dangerous anymore!

    I suggested to Michael that we should take the shuttle to the next stop from where we could do a very short hike to Mirror Lake. Which at that time of the year would not be a lake anymore as it dries out during the summer. But I had read that it was a beautiful spot without the water as well.

    At the start of that trail there were two options: To follow a road that was blocked for traffic or use a non paved trail. I am not a fan of walking on paved roads, so I chose the trail. Michael was indifferent and told me to make the decision.

    Well, he came to regret this…
    Yes, he did. He is starting to be more assertive in this relationship. Let's see how she likes it. If her next trip report is being co-authored by Bucky, you'll know the answer! Well, @nodnol is already co-authoring a trip report with me, it just seems to have difficulty to get started even though the trip that is being reported on predates this...

    We started out on the trail and very quickly it turned into a very sandy trail. This was not so good as we both were wearing sandals.

    Then Michael got quite excited because we saw something on the trail that he, as the expert, recognized as bear droppings (or bear poo – but not Winnie!).



    I was surprised that there would be bears down here in the valley where there were so many people. Then there was more bear droppings… And even more!

    And then we became suspicious. Even the wildlife expert had to admit that it was unlikely that all the bears in the region used this specific trail as their bathroom. And I also spotted something that looked very much like a horseshoe imprint in the sand…

    So, yes, it was caused by horses, not bears! And lots of it! It appeared that we had ended up on a horse riding trail!! It would have been really nice if they had put up a sign. We were getting really hot, the trail was horribly dusty and not good for walking in sandals anyway and then we had to deal with the horses’ stuff as well. This made us not very happy.

    And then when we were already pretty grumpy we came across a group of riders that had stopped in the middle of the path. We were told that we should make our way past them. I am really not sure why they did not move. But we had to climb into the woods and kind of struggle along at least 12 horses.

    It was pretty miserable. It wouldn't have been a great hike in summer period. No lake. Extreme heat. Dust. But add the fact that you are following a dozen defecating horses that are covering the train in their waste and you are wearing sandals and ... again, this may be an E-Ticket experience in say Delaware, but for me it was getting an F.

    Shortly thereafter we made it to Mirror Lake, but we did not feel very peaceful at all. Looking at the pictures now, it was pretty though.









    On the way back we chose the road. This was much better!

    We quickly got on a shuttle to our hotel and cleaned up. We had to get pretty as we had dinner plans tonight! We had made a reservation for dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel dining room.

    Continued in Part 3
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Happy Feet - Part 3

    We once again used the shuttle to get there. They run less frequently during the evening, but we were hopeful that we would get back without problem. I had asked about this and was told that if we were not finished with dinner by the time the last shuttle was running, they would transfer us back to our hotel. I guess they really want people to not use their own cars when in Yosemite Valley!

    We looked around a little at the Ahwahnee before checking in.



    And then were lead to a very nice table at the window and were greeted by our lovely server and her assistant server. It was interesting that the service in this dining room very much reminded me of the service in the dining rooms on the cruise ships. We had an assistant server that took care of the drinks and then our main server. They also had quite a lot of serving stations in the room, actually one was directly next to us.

    The table was set with the lovely dishes with the Ahwahnee motiv:



    This were the choices:



    We were served some bread:



    And then started the meal with the Garden Salad with peppercorn ranch dressing that we shared:



    Michael ordered the prime rib:



    The prime rib wasn't bad. It was actually good. But not very good or exceptional. I sorta talked myself, with some help from M, into ordering it when my preferences were either a steak or a chicken dish (they also had a noodle bowl/veggie dish that sounded delicious, but also sounded like something you have on your sixth meal here and not your first.) I did enjoy it. I just knew as soon as I started it that I would have been better with one of the other choices.

    While I had trouble deciding between a pork dish and a fish that was called steelhead. I had never heard of that fish, so I asked. Our server told me that it was a local fish and it was similar to trout as well as to salmon. I like both of these, so I decided to try this.



    (sorry for blurry picture!)

    It was served with aa very delicious citrus sauce. It was really delicious! And I was very happy that I tried something different.

    We then looked at the dessert menu and had a hard time deciding, so we asked our server for a recommendation and she recommended the crème brulee.



    We shared this and it was definitely a portion that was large enough to share! It was really good!

    Overall we had a lovely meal! The whole atmosphere of the place was wonderful. They have a dress code and people definitely followed the dress code, even though they were in a National Park. There was someone playing on a grand piano. There were candles on the tables, the service was excellent, the food was very good. We had so many fantastic meals during this trip, but this definitely belongs in the top 5.

    When we were done, we still had plenty of time before the shuttle service ended, so that worked out well. We got back to our room and sat outside on our patio with some of the Conundrum wine that we had picked up in Oakhurst and chatted. It was a perfect evening!

    Up Next: Michael finds his Paradise
     

    Poolrat

    I am alive, sometimes I wonder too.
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2008
    I remember that on this vacation my aunt asked me why I did not use any conditioner and I had no idea what this was as in Germany conditioners were not available - yet. I came home with three or four bottles of conditioner and was so happy to have found something that made my hair manageable! It wasn't until around 1990 that I was able to get conditioner in Germany. :scared1:
    Conditioner is this curly haired girl best friend. :crazy:

    Keeping my fingers crossed for getting close enough! Where is this years conference?
    New Orleans. But we usually swap More East Coast for More West Coast. So maybe next year!

    Or as we would say in German: Even the blind chicken finds a corn now and then.
    We say a blind Squirrel finds a nut now and then.

    :scared1: Pat lies??? I would have always thought that she is such a honest person!!!! :rotfl2:

    I AM!!!!!! :snooty:



    I will have to comment on the update later- time for be for me. So many wonderful sights to comment on. :)
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    The ceiling fan incident the previous evening made me afraid that this would disturb my plans for the next day, but I was very happy when I woke up and my fingers felt fine.
    I am glad that this incident did not throw a spanner in the works.

    The problem was that during our days there, there was a real heatwave happening. The temperatures were in the high 90s every day.
    That does not sound like pleasant hiking weather at all.

    I jumped on a shuttle bus and it took me about 25 minutes to get to the start of the trail.
    That sounds pretty straightforward.

    As you can see, there is not a lot of water, but there is still a decent amount of water in this waterfall!

    Despite there not being a lot of water, this still looks stunning.

    And then my camera died! I thought it was broken, but luckily it turned out that it only had lost all of its battery.
    What a shame. Glad that it was only the battery.

    And I had made it up there in one hour and 15 minutes.
    That sounds like an amazing achievement.

    And the other one was to make my way over to the John Muir Trail that would then lead me back to the valley, so this would be a loop then instead of climbing down all those stairs.
    That sounded like a great plan. What a shame that it did not work out.

    That looks really pretty. What a shame that it was such a pain to get there.

    Dinner looked lovely.

    Corinna
     

    dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006
    What an update!
    Love all the photos and your hiking along the trails - better you than me. :rotfl2:
    No, it sounds like an awesome day, even though I would not have your stamina and do all that walking. And I agree with Rosie, we need to see that photo of Michael's "Happy Feet"! ;)
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Top of Vernal Fall
    Distance: 2.4 mi (3.9 km) round trip (via Mist Trail)
    Elevation gain: 1000 ft (300 m)
    Difficulty: Strenuous
    Time: 3 hours
    That sounds way to energetic for me! :faint:

    I first had to cross the river that originate from the waterfall:
    Yikes! did you get your feet wet or jump across on stepping stones?

    The trail started out with a nice climb, not too bad:
    That looks fine to me.

    But then the stairs started! And soon I got a view of the waterfall:
    OK that's where I would turn around.

    And then my camera died! I thought it was broken, but luckily it turned out that it only had lost all of its battery. Not sure how that happened as I had charged it. But, I was happy that I still had my phone with me.
    I find that the more I turn my camera on and off, the more that it's batteries go dead faster. I don't know if that helps, plus if you've had the camera for a while the battery just may not hold a charge as long as it did when it was new.

    I was totally on my own. At first it did not bother me, but then I started to think of bears and mountain lions and I got really scared!!
    I wouldn't worry about lions or bear, but I would worry about slipping and falling down a cliff with no one around to notify authorities

    By now, I was really really scared! I kept making noises on my own, hoping that if any bear was around that that would scare them away.
    Again, bears and the like rarely come out when there are people hiking around.

    I started to go down then and by now there were a million people coming up!
    Again rope drop is always a good strategy.

    I saw so many people with flip flops!! Who would ever think about any kind of trail in the countryside that should be walked in flip flops????
    I don't even like to wear flip flops. Period. Much less do any amount of walking in them!

    Michael found a place to climb down to the river and sat there a little while to put his feet into the water. He came back and told me that his feet are now very happy – and that’s how this place became Happy Feets instead of Happy Isles!
    Well I'm glad that Michael was able to make his feet happy in the stream.

    Then Michael got quite excited because we saw something on the trail that he, as the expert, recognized as bear droppings (or bear poo – but not Winnie!).
    I could tell that was horse poop from the moment I saw it. Where I grew up, lots of people had horses up in the hills and many of my friends had their own ponies.

    I guess they really want people to not use their own cars when in Yosemite Valley!
    They really don't. I guess pollution was really bad when they stopped letting people drive around themselves.

    We shared this and it was definitely a portion that was large enough to share! It was really good!
    The choices for dinner looked very nice! Although I don't agree with you that this was enough to share! :lmao:

    They have a dress code and people definitely followed the dress code, even though they were in a National Park. There was someone playing on a grand piano. There were candles on the tables, the service was excellent, the food was very good. We had so many fantastic meals during this trip, but this definitely belongs in the top 5.
    I'm glad that people actually followed the dress code. On our last trip they had a very easy dress code. No jeans, T-shirts, tennis shoes or shorts in the main dining room at dinner. There were still some low lifes who wore jeans and T-shirts to dinner. I mean how hard is it to put on a pair of slacks and a polo shirt? They sold the shirts in the gift shop. I hate when people think they are "above" the requests of the establishment and then the establishment doesn't enforce their policies.
     

    Poolrat

    I am alive, sometimes I wonder too.
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2008
    I was very happy when I woke up and my fingers felt fine.
    Well that is good that there were no lasting injuries.

    Unless you have a really early start – mornings were quite bearable as it cooled down nicely during the night. I guess, you all will see where Michael’s problem with that scenario was. And I think splitting up was the smart thing to do. This way, I could start as early as I wanted instead of being annoyed that Michael was not moving as early as I would have wanted, which would then have resulted in both of us being grumpy (one because of the early morning, the other because the morning was not early enough) and then having to hike in the hot weather.
    Glad you were smart and headed out early.

    Upon arrival at Happy Isles I saw that this was really quite an interesting spot, too.
    You should get back there later.....

    The reason why I wanted to do this hike is that I think I did this with my aunt in the 80s. I remember that we walked to one spot together and then I hiked up some more on my own. Looking at my photo album of that trip, I don’t have any pictures. But there is a postcard of Vernal fall next to a strip of film with a notice from the photo service that this roll was damaged and that’s why they did not develop those pictures. Seems an indicator that my pictures from Vernal Falls are lost. But I did not write anything in that album…
    Great reason to recreate the hike this time.

    I don’t understand people who litter along the trail, but here I came across the most bizarre piece of garbage left on the side of the trail:

    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Some people asked me to take their picture and then they were nice enough to take mine as well. After that was done and they had started to move again, I heard that they were actually talking German to each other. That was funny as we had spoken English the whole time!
    :rotfl2::rotfl2: Interesting. I guess you never caught up with then to speak German with them?

    There were two options: One was to go up to Nevada Fall, which was the next water fall, kind of one level up. And the other one was to make my way over to the John Muir Trail that would then lead me back to the valley, so this would be a loop then instead of climbing down all those stairs. I like loop trails. I never really approve of hiking back the same way that I came. Also, the other trail supposedly was less steep and I really was not looking forward to climbing down all those stairs.

    So, when I got to the signpost that indicated the trail for the John Muir Trail, I decided to go this way.
    Seemed like a good decision.

    And then I started to become more and more aware of the fact that while it had been really busy on that other trail, no one else was using this trail!! I was totally on my own. At first it did not bother me, but then I started to think of bears and mountain lions and I got really scared!!
    I wouldn't worry about lions or bear, but I would worry about slipping and falling down a cliff with no one around to notify authorities
    Yeah I would be bothered by being out there all alone too. Yup the thought of being off a cliff and left to die would cause me to turn around. :rolleyes:


    I knew that this trail was connecting to the other trail, the real John Muir Trail so I hoped that I would soon get there and then there would be more people. But that was not the case. So, after about 15 minutes I realized that what I was doing was not good and actually could be potentially dangerous! So, I turned around. By now, I was really really scared! I kept making noises on my own, hoping that if any bear was around that that would scare them away. Most likely I was not nearly noisy enough though. You should have used your scary sounds on the ceiling fan! But I made it down to the place where my trail split away without any difficulty. In hindsight this was really a stupid decision. I should have followed the trail to the bottom of Nevada Fall, where I would have had a beautiful view and the trail would have been far easier to walk.
    Good choice. I am glad you got back on the more traveled path.

    I convinced Michael that we should go and check out the Happy Isles Nature Reserve, so this is what we did.
    Glad you made it back there.

    This lovely little stream can turn into some mighty river in different weather conditions. They had a display there about the streamgage they have there:
    That is interesting!!! :teacher:

    Michael found a place to climb down to the river and sat there a little while to put his feet into the water. He came back and told me that his feet are now very happy – and that’s how this place became Happy Feets instead of Happy Isles!
    Glad Michael's feet got to be happy.

    So, I finally saw a bear and a mountain lion during my wanderings. Luckily they were both not dangerous anymore!
    In a very safe environment I might add.

    We started out on the trail and very quickly it turned into a very sandy trail. This was not so good as we both were wearing sandals.

    :headache: Not a fan of sandy sandals.

    So, yes, it was caused by horses, not bears! And lots of it! It appeared that we had ended up on a horse riding trail!! It would have been really nice if they had put up a sign. We were getting really hot, the trail was horribly dusty and not good for walking in sandals anyway and then we had to deal with the horses’ stuff as well. This made us not very happy.
    Yup that would have made me not happy either. :mad:

    And then when we were already pretty grumpy we came across a group of riders that had stopped in the middle of the path. We were told that we should make our way past them. I am really not sure why they did not move. But we had to climb into the woods and kind of struggle along at least 12 horses.
    Oohhh Now I am past a little NOT happy.... :furious:

    On the way back we chose the road. This was much better!
    Another wonderful choice this time.

    We had made a reservation for dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel dining room.
    Sounds nice - and great pictures.

    We had so many fantastic meals during this trip, but this definitely belongs in the top 5.
    It does look good.

    When we were done, we still had plenty of time before the shuttle service ended, so that worked out well. We got back to our room and sat outside on our patio with some of the Conundrum wine that we had picked up in Oakhurst and chatted. It was a perfect evening!
    A nice way to wind down....

    An overall great day with some really fantastic pictures. :worship:
     


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