Pictures from Yosemite

August 23, 2012

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Planning & Itinerary for Half Dome

August 19, 2012

About two months before the trip my friend told me he had a few extra permits for the hike, and he put the offer out to other friends as well so he could try to get a small group together.  Two of my friends had four passes so they were trying to find another couple to go.  Luckily for me, there was no other couple that was able to go so I joined them and the three of us spent the weekend together doing this amazing hike.  One of the permits went unused unfortunately, but it was definitely better that we had too many than too few.

Hiking and Camping Permits

There are two types of permits that are needed to hike Half Dome hike and to camp overnight at the campgrounds.  “Day-hike permits” are required to hike Sub Dome and to get to the top of Half Dome.  The permit is required to do the cable hiking, which leads to the very top of Half Dome, and to hike Sub Dome (which in my opinion is more demanding than the cables).  The reason Yosemite requires permits is to control traffic in certain areas.  The approximately 600 foot cable portion is very steep and dangerous so not many people can use it at one time, so this area is crowd controlled.  Everyone can hike about 90% of the trail without a permit but by requiring the permits for this portion they’re able to control traffic to 400 people per day.

The second type of permit is the “Wilderness permit” and it is required to camp anywhere in the park.  In order to camp at Little “Yosemite Valley campground”, which is along the main hiking trail, a reservation is required which is tough to get because there is very limited space for campsites.  With a general wilderness permit, camping is allowed almost anywhere in the park except within certain areas.  In the case of hiking Half Dome, in order to camp freely it has to be done a minimum of more than 2 miles from the campgrounds.  Because we failed to make a reservation at the Little Yosemite Valley campgrounds, which we thought the permits we had covered us for, we had to go out of the area and camp on our own which in my opinion was one of the best things about the whole hike (entire blog post to come about the camping).

My friends had four day-hike permits, but not a wilderness permit.  Their intention was to make reservations at the Little Yosemite Valley campsite but the night before we started the hike, while finishing our packing, we realized we only had day-hike permits but that we’d likely need a wilderness permit to camp overnight.  The next morning, when we set out to do our hike, we went to the park office and they gave us the information on where we could camp.  So long as we were more than 2 miles away from Little Yosemite Valley campsite, we were ok.  On the map, the ranger marked a small creek and told us to make sure to reach the creep.  At that point would know for sure we were in the area where we were supposed to camp.

This sign is just past Little Yosemite Valley campgrounds as a final check to make sure you have the required permits if you’re planning to hike to the top.

Itinerary:

Tuesday— Full day of school in Tampa, including an exam.  Then a late night flight from Tampa to San Francisco, arriving into SF at 11:50pm.  My friends rented a ZipCar and picked me up from the airport.

Wednesday— Spent the morning/afternoon in SF on my own, then when my friends got off work we headed to the mountains.  We left SF about 6pm and arrived at our hotel near Yosemite around 11pm.

Thursday— Woke up early, went for a swim in the hot tub, checked out of hotel around 11am.  It took a few hours to get situated, park our car, and start hiking.  We began hiking at around 3pm which gave us about 4-5 hours of hiking before the sun went down.  We camped overnight on the side of the mountain by our selves at a spot we found about 10 minutes before the sun set.

Friday— HALF DOME!  We woke up at our camp site around 7am and set out on our full day of hiking.  We had to make it to the top of half dome and all the way back to the bottom by time the sun went down so we had about 12 hours to do it all.  After the hike, we checked into our hotel inside the park.  We were exhausted so we had a quick pizza dinner at the nearby restaurant and called it an early night.

Saturday— Woke up, checked out of hotel room and had lunch in the park.  We had lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel which is the nicest hotel in the park.  We couldn’t afford to pay the $500+ per night it costs to stay there but having lunch there was a good way to go see what we missed.  After lunch we drove to another vantage point that overlooks the valley that we hiked in, and then we had to hit the road back to San Francisco because the car rental was due by 6pm.

Sunday— Spent the morning/afternoon in the city and at Dolores Park.  Evening/overnight flight back to Tampa leaving SF at about 8:30pm.  Due to missing my connecting flight in Phoenix, I arrived back in Tampa around noontime on Monday afternoon.

Links:

Half Dome Permits for Day Hiking

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm

Wilderness Permit Information

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

Camping Information at Little Yosemite Valley

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/lyv.htm

Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Park

http://www.yosemitepark.com/the-ahwahnee.aspx


Hiking Half Dome in June 2012

August 18, 2012

In June I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the weekend and do a short side trip to Yosemite to hike Half Dome.  Prior to the trip I had very little knowledge what Half Dome was and I had no idea what the cables were leading up to the top of Half Dome.  This hike was one of the craziest things I’ve done so far in my life and it was one of the funnest weekend trips I’ve done in a while.

Over the next week I’m going to write different posts about the trip so for this post I’m going to write an introduction about what Half Dome is and where it is.

The day after finishing the hike we drove 25 miles to another vantage point to get this view pictured above.  Half Dome is the rock on the left of the image and the waterfall on the right is the area where we hiked.  The valley below is the floor of Yosemite where most tourists visit.  The surrounding area for miles and miles each way is Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park is located in Northern California about 3 hours East of San Francisco.  Half Dome is located in the main tourist area and is one of the main attractions that many tourists go to see.

Backside of Half Dome

The cables.  The last 1,000 feet to get to the top of Half Dome consist of climbing up this steep piece of granite holding on to the cables and slowly moving from plank to plank.

The top of Half Dome. Worth every ounce of effort to get here.


Hiking Half Dome Yosemite National Park

June 5, 2012

Today I leave on a trip to California to spend the weekend hiking in Yosemite National Park.  I have an Accounting exam in class today and then tonight I fly to San Francisco.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’ll spend the morning and afternoon in the city by myself while my friends are working and around evening time we’ll head to Yosemite so we can start hiking first thing Thursday morning.  Saturday afternoon we’ll head back to San Francisco and probably go out for dinner and drinks.  My flight back to Florida is at 8:00pm on Sunday so I’ll have one last day in SF to go around before I wake up Monday morning in FL with a full day of classes, including another exam.

Flying alone is one of my favorite things to do so I’m really looking forward to flying tonight.  I have a layover in Washington, DC so it’ll be a 2 hour flight with a 45 minute layover, and then a 6hr flight cross country.  I always say to myself that I’m going to start reading a good book or I’m going to study for school, but most often I typically do nothing more than stare off into space out the window with endless thoughts.  Or if I’m not in a window seat then I stare off at no place specific.  I very rarely listen to music or have a headset on and I hardly ever watch TV unless it’s a JetBlue flight on the East Coast which I don’t fly often.  So tonight I look forward to another day of flying because California is one of my favorite places to visit and knowing that I’ll be waking up in a 15th floor apartment in downtown SF with the city at my fingertips for the day makes me a very happy person!

One of my favorite places in the United States: Marin Headlands north of the Golden Gate Bridge, December 2010


Around the World this week: Articles of Interest

February 5, 2012

1.  Storing bicycles in cities is a logistical problem, but here’s an interesting solution:

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/listedblogpost.aspx?post=3488f10a-c6e7-4fdb-ab90-08302fa4b47e

2.  Barnes & Noble is the last standing large book selling company, but the future is uncertain:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/business/barnes-noble-taking-on-amazon-in-the-fight-of-its-life.html?hp

3.  Lot of people arrested in Oakland in relation to the Occupy Wall Street movement:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/01/28/us/AP-US-Occupy-Oakland.html?hp

4.  Hudson River Park in New York City:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/nyregion/hudson-river-park-after-early-success-faces-new-challenges.html

5.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/sports/athletes-struggle-in-greece-birthplace-of-olympics.html?hpw

6.  Live rock for aquariums:

http://www.aquacon.com/saltwater_aquarium_liverock.html

7.  Possible minimum wage increase for the state of New York from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour.  Surrounding states’ minimum wages are $8.00, $8.46, and $8.25 so it surprises me that New York is currently the lowest among them:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/nyregion/albany-bill-would-raise-the-new-york-state-minimum-wage-to-8-50.html?_r=1&hp

8. Rupert Murdoch is using Twitter:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/business/media/twitter-gives-glimpse-into-rupert-murdochs-mind.html?hp

9.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/technology/amazon-shares-drop-as-revenues-fall-short.html?hp

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/barnes-noble-says-it-wont-sell-books-published-by-amazon/?hp

10.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/01/everything-about-learning/

11.  Interesting view on the information between the rich and poor:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/opinion/brooks-the-great-divorce.html?src=rechp

12.  The costs of labor:

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/running-the-numbers-controlling-labor-costs/?src=rechp

13.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/technology/for-founders-to-decorators-facebook-riches.html?_r=1&hp

14.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/us/uproar-as-komen-foundation-cuts-money-to-planned-parenthood.html?hp

15.  Pipeline crucial to Republicans:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/us/politics/for-gop-pipeline-is-central-to-agenda.html?hp