Friday, July 6, 2007
We decided to drive up early on Saturday morning. Mary and I had borrowed some gear from friends, and we stayed up until about 2:30 AM Friday night packing and repacking our gear in various backpacks. We got up at 4 AM after a whopping 1.5 hours of sleep. We picked up Chris and Ashley to carpool to the park. We were the first to arrive at the Wawona ranger station.
Once everyone arrived, we got a couple bear canisters and drove up to the trail head. After various adjustments and vying to be the last person to put on a pack, got on our way (that's me in the picture on the right). The first half mile of the trail is fairly steep. You can see Chilnualna Creek for most of this section, and after the climb, we arrived at a nice cascade with a nice pool at the base (see picture on top left).
After many more switchbacks and a few more breaks, we made it back to the creek. We stopped here for a long time soaking in the cool water, refilling our water bottles and resting in the shade. The picture on the right shows Karen, Maggie and Francesco enjoing the cool water and hamming it up. It has been a pretty dry year, so there wasn't much water in the creek. I seem to remember much more impressive falls a few years ago when Mary and I day hiked here with our friend Steve. Of course that was a particularly wet year and we were there at the peak water flow.
The lot at the grove was full, so we had to park near the South park entrance and take the shuttle up. The bus had AC, so it was quite comfortable. We hiked around the grove for an hour or two then took the shuttle back to the cars. On the drive back to the Bay Area, we all stopped for diner at the Black Bear Diner in Gilroy. It's a pretty good restaurant. We arrived back home pretty late, showered and went straight to bed. It was a pretty fun trip. I think I'd like to do some more backpacking in the near future, maybe in Sequoia...
Patrick and Karen's photos from the trip are here.