Thursday, May 18, 2006

Where the kiwi has flown - #6 Yosemite

The other day I was cycling home from work just as it was getting dark and noticed how huge and orange the sun was. Then I noticed that the sun seemed to be setting in the East. And that there was quite a spectacular sunset over the hills to the West. And that in fact that enormous, bright orange ball was the full moon rising. And it made me think of other Full Moons on the Rise.

There was a memorable one on Easter Island. And there was also Yosemite.

There were 8 of us hiking in Yosemite, camping one night. We left the French contingent in charge of food, and they bought about 1 loaf of bread per person. And big bags of chippies. And other things that don't pack down into bear canisters very well. And you can't leave anything in your car, as bears have been known to break into cars for empty chocolate wrappers.

We got the necessary permits and headed up to Upper Yosemite Falls. At one point I came across two guys and the first thing they said was "Go the Dockers!". I was wearing my AFL Fremantle Dockers sunhat. They were from Perth. Small world.

We made it to the top and left our packs in a pile while we explored. In the ten minutes we were gone, birds broke in and stole some bread and cheese. But we had plenty of bread, so it was OK.

We pitched camp and made a campfire. All food had to go in the bear canisters, and also anything smelly. For some reason, the French contingent had brought shampoo, so that had to go in. So there wasn't room for all the bread. So we sat around the campfire throwing on whole loaves of bread. In hindsight, if there had been any bears around the smell of toast probably would have attracted them. We had a long discussion about my inability to differentiate my pronunciations of 'beer' and 'bear'. Oh how we laughed.

It was a warm night, so a couple of us decided to sleep outside under the stars. The sun eventually went down and it was dark for half an hour. Then the moon came up. It was beautiful. And huge. And very, very bright. It was like sleeping under searchlights. I tried putting my head in my sleeping bag to block out the light, but then I couldn't breathe. So after a while the moon wasn't so enchanting. Finally it went down. And the sun came up.

The next morning we hiked up to Eagle Peak, where we had amazing views of most of Yosemite Valley and across to the Dome. And then down for some swimming in the pools above the falls. And then back down to the valley, which wasn't so much fun for me because my knees have decided I am old and they hurt like hell by the time I got to the bottom.

But then we saw a baby black bear, adorably rooting through the rubbish at one of the campsites in the valley, so that made it all worth it.

And then we had pizza and drove home. The End.


Where the kiwi has flown # 5 Cocora and Salento

Where the kiwi has flown # 4 USA '98

Where the kiwi has flown # 3 Lake Titicaca

Where the kiwi has flown # 2 A vignette of Cali

Where the kiwi has flown #1 Tsunami diving