Monday, 22 October 2012
Three Miles up Four Mile Road
What a difference a day makes! I woke up to the sounds of rain on the canvas roof of my tent cabin which I was expecting but on getting up and about I wasn't expecting to see snow on the tops of the mountains that yesterday were totally clear. And I knew that the more elevated and exposed roads could close very quickly but on seeing the information board in the National Parks Service hut it appeared that that moment had come. I was careful to make sure that my exit route out of the park was the road that never closes but it's still a sobering moment to see the other main road suddenly shut for the winter - and that can mean until March!
I had a slightly later start than yesterday and wandered over in the rain to Yosemite Village itself. There were some interesting explanatory boards along the way which talked about the history of the village itself and also the terrible way the original settlers treated the landscape - one of the meadows was effectively used as a dumping ground and was only finally cleared of rubbish in 1993! There is also a good museum and shop plus the official National Park Service hut. And I'd forgotten that Ansel Adams made his name of course in Yosemite so there is a really good exhibition of this work that can also be bought as prints. If only I didn't have to think about my luggage allowance for upcoming flights!
Enough procrastinating and with the rain looking like it was easing off I set off along my path for the day - seeing how far along to Glacier Point on the Four Mile Road I could get. The name is misleading - the route is now 4.8miles and means almost as much climbing as yesterday so I wasn't too sure how far I'd get because of either fatigue or weather. The path was actually very good for the majority of the way - in fact it was almost overdeveloped: I'm a bit conflicted about using tarmac to lay paths in what are essentially wildernesses - yes it enables more people to experience the beauty but runs a big risk of over development and ruining the thing that it's designed to serve.
I made it probably until about a mile shy of Glacier Point - the weather was getting worse and worse and there was a lot of snow underfoot. When the mist started to come down I knocked it on the head! A shame but given the weather conditions I'm not sure how much I'd have been able to see anyway. Just a couple of shots;
This is the view from about halfway on the walk - very attractive but in a different way to yesterday!
This is the point at which I decided to turn back - the snow was getting deeper and deeper and the rain was coming down and I was cold. I think that's a fair choice!
I'm hoping that the bar here in Curry Village will be showing the third Presidential Debate tonight - or I'll have to try to do some live streaming on the not very fast WiFi.