Happy Isles Trailhead, Yosemite Valley - Cloud's Rest trail junction[This is the first day of my John Muir Trail thruhike: Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. At the end is a link to the rest of my journal if I have acquired your interest. You can find other thruhike trip reports in via my profile or website.]
21:00 Bears 0 - Glenn 2
Moments ago as I opened my journal in front of the campfire, I heard a huff behind me. Rising from my food canister seat and spinning around, I encountered my first Yosemite bear about 3 feet away. Quiet bastard to sneak up on me.
It was a killer. Anybody could see that. From the blood-matted muzzle and yellowed sabre teeth to the undulating muscles along its flanks, everything about the beast screamed killer. It rose up tearing divots of earth with it's two front paws before dropping back down, striking it's huge clawed forelimbs on the ground with a growl. I locked my eyes on the feral pair before me and let explode my own prehistoric bellow.
Okay, okay, I am embellishing some. Here is the unvarnished truth.
It was a small bear and greeted me with a snort and a double paw ground slap designed to scare me off. Sorry bruin, I was not born yesterday. After a few snorts, growls, and some flash photography of my own, I drove the bear and its smaller companion off. Mother and child?
Now while I write this the forest to the east is filled with hollering. I guess my visitor found another camp to bother. They sound pretty wimpy over there. Frankly it sounds like a girls school pep rally. Hey wait, that might be interesting.
Pre bear, I had quite a day. Total mileage was 13 but only 7 of those were on the JMT. Elevation gain was a bit over 5,000 feet and 3,200 feet of that was with a 54 pound pack. Not bad considering that I missed my early bus from the hostel and did not start until 10:00. At least I got a good breakfast out of the deal.
The bus ride took ab
-damn bear is back-
You can try to get in my bear canister after I am through sitting on it!
Anyway, the bus took about 45 minutes, but it went fast while I talked to Sofia from Denmark. I was dropped off at Curry Village within the Park and walked to Happy Isles trailhead and the start of the JMT. The hike out of the valley had begun.
It was sweaty work but rewarding. Nevada Falls was awesome. The snowmelt makes this time well known as waterfall season. The water flow was exceptional. After resting and drying my sweaty clothes above the falls I proceeded to climb up and out of Little Yosemite Valley.
Note: Everyone at the Falls was treated to my tremendously white torso as I dried my shirt on a rock.
Eventually I dropped my pack at the spur trail to the top of Half Dome. It is aptly named. Though not part of the JMT it is well worth the time it takes to hike the extra 5 miles roundtrip. The Park Service has installed a set of steel cables to help hikers reach the top because the smooth stone maxes out at a 60° angle with cliffs to
-hehe, more yells far off to either side of me. Stay over there bear. Let me finish my journal.
either side. The side trip was majestic.
Now here I am relaxed at camp 1 - well as relaxed as a person can be while constantly turning around at the slightest noise expecting to see a bear about to take a bite out of my ass.
Well my herbal tea is gone and my butt is sore from sitting on this canister so I am off to bed. Good night.
Continue with my journal