|View from the Foresta Trail|
I was feeling a little harried when the first day of my Sierra trip got off to a lousy start. Sometimes things just go a little awry, but still turn out alright. It's the law of averages. I had made a reservation for a campsite at Crane Flat for one night only. I could not set up camp at Tuolumne Meadows , which was my real destination, until the next day. So the plan was for this site to give me an extra day for a hike at slightly lower elevation. I wanted to hike the route from Tamarack Flat to El Capitan, but as luck would have it, I ran into some unexpected circumstances. First there were no bear lockers at the trailhead at Tamarack Flat, and my vehicle was full of camping supplies including a week’s worth of food. I was stunned at this development! Trailheads at Yosemite generally always have bear boxes available for general use. It is technically illegal, that is; you can be cited for a violation of federal law for not properly storing food in bear country. After having visions of my car doors being ripped off (literally), I drove over to Crane Flat to see if they had any bear boxes I could use. I could not check in there until noon, and there was nothing available there either. But the ranger told me about some lockers at a pullout along Tioga Road a few miles beyond Tamarack Flat. I drove there only to find out that they were all being used, and there was not enough room for all my stuff. Still not willing to risk my car becoming a statistic, I remembered that there was also a trailhead to El Capitan at Foresta. I drove out there and finally found a bear box I could use. However the route from there adds an extra 4 miles being a 20 mile round trip, and it was getting late in the morning. It was also reaching over 100 degrees in the open that day. Ironically, if I had not made the reservation at Crane Flat, I could have simply rented a campsite at Tamarack Flat, which is first come first served, and used the bear box in the site. The route from there is a shaded 16 mile round trip, and I could have started early enough to complete the hike, and still had time to setup camp before dark. Bummer! (g-rated term).
|View to Mt Clark|