At the beginning of the week I had no clue what I would be doing for Memorial Day weekend. The Memorial Day holiday falls on a Monday this year, and since I am off on Fridays I had a four day weekend but no plans whatsoever for it.
And then, randomly, the weekend sort of just came together on its own. One of my old coworkers, Mary, emailed me saying that she got a campsite in Yosemite and that I was welcome to crash it. It’s tough getting campsites in Yosemite this year, especially on weekends and especially on holiday weekends. So I decided that I would go, despite having to make the long drive out there on my own. During the long three and a half hour drive there, I started to doubt whether it was worth it. I would only be there for one night, and I’d be spending most of Friday alone since Mary and Dennis would be leaving after work. But as soon as I arrived in Yosemite and stopped to take a look at half dome, I knew that it was all worth it.
The timing worked out really well for me too. I checked in at Mary’s campsite and dropped off my food in the bear locker, and then headed out to Glacier Point. I had always wanted to go there but somehow never made it out there. I arrived at the road to Glacier Point at a little before 3:30. Apparently Glacier Point had opened for the first time in 2011 at noon, but had closed again due to congestion. It was scheduled to re-open at 3:30, just a little bit after I arrived. Perfect timing. After a few minute wait, the park rangers opened up the road.
Glacier point has a pretty cool panoramic view of a lot of the famous features in the park. I tried to take a panoramic shot, but the picture doesn’t really do the scene justice. You definitely have to go there and experience it yourself.
On the way back from Glacier Point I hit up Bridalveil Falls. I don’t know why I had never been to this waterfall before– it’s a short quarter of a mile hike and it’s a pretty amazing waterfall. It kicks up a lot of mist, which I guess looks sort of like a bridal veil. Hence the name Bridalveil Falls…
So apparently due to the record snow pack, this year is the best year to visit Yosemite. All the waterfalls were huge, kicking up a lot of mist, and the trails were overflowing with water runoff. It’s a good thing my camera and lens is weather sealed because they got seriously drenched underneath Bridalveil Falls. Thank you Pentax for making an affordable weather sealed lens and body kit.
Dennis and Mary arrived with Dennis’s son Kyle a little after dark. We setup camp and then went to sleep pretty soon afterwards. In the morning I woke up early and made breakfast. It was the least I could do for crashing their campsite. Plus I love camp cooking anyways. Bacon sizzling in a cast iron pan atop a campfire is a beautiful feast for the senses.
After breakfast we decided to hike out to Snow Creek Falls. It was probably less than 8 miles round trip, but it felt pretty long and tiring due to the big elevation gain. Here’s a view from the top. When we arrived at the top it looked like it was going to rain, so we decided to head down quickly. It’s not a good place to be during a thunderstorm.
When we arrived back at camp, the rain started to pick up. I decided that I would head back to Davis to try and drive out of Yosemite before it really started to storm. The rest of the crew would spend the night in the rain but eventually they decided to leave early too. I arrived back in Davis right at sunset. I had always wanted to catch a sunset at the causeway, but I never had my camera on me at the right time.
We randomly ended up at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in Old Sacramento. But interestingly enough, we didn’t hear any Jazz. We ended up listening to a Utah state prison brass band playing Stars and Stripes Forever. That’s interestingly random.
My bro recently got a job offer in San Francisco, so he will be leaving Davis soon. I’ve been trying to hang out with him more, which means we’ve been playing a lot of golf. We ended up playing at Bing Maloney in Sacramento because Davis Muni was crowded. I think I called like five different courses before settling at Bing Maloney. All the others were either too crowded or too expensive. Yes- I’m cheap… So anyways, here’s a picture of a squirrel on my bro’s golf bag. A random picture to end a random post about a random weekend.
Things I’m thankful for
- camping friends and golf buddies
- beautiful scenery and beautiful sunsets
- chinese bakeries and baos. pork baos and curry baos and pineapple baos and hot dog baos and any other kind of bao that’s good and tasty
- friends and friends of friends who become friends
Pictures from Yosemite are here: