Pre-hike: Yosemite Day 1 2018-05-12T08:32:25-04:00

Pre-hike: Yosemite Day 1

After anticipating this trip for so long, it has finally begun! I didn’t get any sleep at all last night, not really out of any anxiety related to the journey ahead of me, but simply because I needed to leave my family’s home in Vermont at 1am in order to catch my early flight to San Francisco. It didn’t help that I left too many tasks to complete at the last minute, leaving little time to even think about sleeping. I spent yesterday sorting through my things, making sure I had everything I needed for the hike. I also had to pack up everything else I brought with me to Vermont and mail it to the hostel I would stay at in Lone Pine, as I needed to return to my home in Korea after completing the trail. I was feeling a bit worried about whether my things would even make it to the hostel in one piece, as I had wrapped my luggage bag quite clumsily with gorilla tape. I decided it was better to just not think about it until I got to Lone Pine at the end of my hike.

I had a smooth (though sleepless) flight to San Fransisco, but unfortunately my connecting flight to Fresno was delayed. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but I planned to catch the 12:45pm YARTS bus to Yosemite and the flight’s new arrival time was 12:15pm. I decided to remain calm, as I knew that I could take Amtrak to the park at 3:30pm if I missed the bus. Luckily, everything worked out and although I had a little trouble finding the bus stop, it ended up being just outside one of the doors by the baggage claim area and I got there with time to spare. I was the only passenger who got on at the airport, though the bus eventually gathered additional passengers as it went along the route.

As the bus was rolling through some small towns and desert landscapes, I was feeling quite satisfied that everything was (more or less) going according to plan. Even though I had been in transit for quite a long time at that point, I felt pretty relaxed and my thoughts were drifting unhurriedly between what to eat for dinner and how to spend my day tomorrow. That feeling of contentment, however, came to an abrupt halt when the bus driver suddenly announced that there was a wildfire somewhere ahead and we might not be able to continue the journey all the way to Yosemite. My thoughts began racing. What will I do if the bus doesn’t reach the park?  It was such an unexpected situation and I began thinking about how it might affect my plans.

Our bus drew closer and closer to the wildfire, and all of my worries about how this fire would affect me melted away as I looked out the window and saw people being evacuated from their homes. I felt guilty for worrying about the logistics of my trip after seeing that there were homes in this rural area that were in danger of being consumed by this rapidly spreading fire. As the bus rolled through the fire zone, my thoughts were with the families we passed by and I hoped that no one would lose their home or get injured.

Although the fire was, at times, right next to the road, the road was never shut down and I made it to Yosemite as scheduled. The bus dropped me off at Half Dome Village, where I instantly regretted not really researching in advance how to get to my campsite at North Pines Campground. There was a park map next to the bus stop, and I could see that I was fairly close to the campground, but I couldn’t really figure out how to get there on foot so I just hopped on the park shuttle. I got off at “Pines Campgrounds” stop, which was not very far from where I started, and walked to my site. After setting up my tent, I walked to Half Dome Village (it wasn’t so difficult to get there after all!) to get some supplies and to have dinner. I went to bed quite early… it was a long day!

July 21, 2016

Pre-hike: Yosemite Day 2

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