Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sky-stretching granite faces

From Merced to Little Yosemite Valley  8.7 miles

Pleasant up and down hill rock trailing following the all mighty Merced River once again. Gorgeous rock formations, sky-stretching granite faces cradling pools of emerald and jade as they usher in cascades and roaring rapids.

We take a peaceful swim in our own private pool that calls our name. So serene, meditative paddling through the chilly water. Attacked by a strange bug-yellow jacket mixed with a bee--with menacing green eyes. He stalks us, and we are on guard!

Breathtaking granite cliffs continue and upon the trail a lucky horseshoe!

But the heat intensifies and we drop in elevation and near Little Yosemite Valley. Quickly we notice the remains of a canyon fire--miles and miles of charred trees. Extremely hot passes with no shade. Slivers of respite, only a few degrees cooler--quickly named THE DEAD ZONE. No leaves to absorb the heat, no bugs, no birds, and eerie quiet that makes me want to move through this area as fast as we can.

Hello rattlesnake, slipping and sliding under the brush. We are zombies, so hot, so wiped out that we barely see it.

The heat almost gets the best of me, but we make it to camp.  Dusty and crowded--full of hikers doing Half Dome and families wanting to overnight it there. Hike a mile further to filter water--bit by something vicious on my calf. Instant fire and swelling. Argh!

So tired--eat powdered eggs and mashed potatoes, laughter and a wonderful friend.

 Fall into my tent.

Out cold. What a day.

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