Yosemite & Relief Reservoir Hikes
May 19 - 29, 2003

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We spent 7 days near Yosemite fishing and taking day hikes inside the park.  Then we had planned to camp outside Tioga Pass but the snow was so heavy that they were still skiing there!  Instead we drove over the just-opened Sonora Pass and camped overnight at Obsidian.  The next day, we drove back and hiked to Relief Reservoir to camp two nights.
Our first week we stayed in a 29' trailer at the Yosemite Lakes campgrounds.  This was a departure from our usual tent camping as we had satellite TV, a comfortable bed, 4-burner stove, air conditioning, lights, toilet, etc.  Nights dropped to the 40's and during the day it was in the 80's.  Betty enjoyed fishing while I learned more about my digital camera and GPS.
We spend a day in Yosemite valley.  All the waterfalls, usually just a trickle during summer, were spectacular.
For one of our day hikes, we drove to Hetch Hetchy reservoir.  We hiked to the Wapama Falls seen in the center of the photo on the left.  Along the way was a small waterfall where we could cool off.
While driving  to Sonora, we saw Caltrans removing the "closed" sign to Sonora Pass.   We continued along Highway 108 to see this view of the snow-covered Dardanelle mountains in the Emigrant Wilderness.
For another day hike, we made 3-mile downhill walk to Merced Grove.  This is a small stand of about 18 huge Sequoia trees.  Near these photos is a old ranger's log cabin that will be torn down.
Off Highway 120, about 1/2 mile from the West entrance to Yosemite National Park is Evergreen road and Carlon campground.  Lots of water made fishing tough on the South Fork of the Tuolumne river.  Evergreen road used to allow camping but this year we noticed that it's "Day Use Only."
Our third day-hike was to Tuolumne Grove.  This was a downhill hike to a grove containing more huge Sequoia's.  They include the famous Tunnel Tree.  Both of us remember driving in a car through the tree but now it's only accessible along the hiking trail.  (The original photo is very distorted to capture the whole tree.  Ray corrected the perspective in PhotoShop.)
Look at the size of the base of this tree that had toppled.  Can you imagine the noise it made and how the ground shook when it fell?
We left Yosemite Lakes and the comforts of a trailer to tent camp.  Our first destination was Obsidian campgrounds.  To get there we had to drive over Sonora Pass which had just been opened a few days earlier.  The photo on the left shows the pass in the distance.
Getting ready for breakfast, Betty loves a campfire anytime - but where's the fresh trout?  How can the poor trout tread water in these rapids?
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