Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend Activities

Weekends are for training as usual, i.e. hiking and tire pulling. This weekend was a little more fun.

I decided to go Yosemite National Park with my friend Peter, hiking up to the Upper Yosemite Fall. While this is not the most challenging hike in Yosemite for most people, it is for me because I had my 40 lbs backpack. Most people bring two or 3 bottles of water and snack which usually weight a less than 10 pounds.

The trail is 3.5 miles, with 2700 feet elevation gain. Average person can do it from 6-8 hours round trip. Upper Yosemite Fall trail is steeper than Mission peak which is 2.8 miles and gains 2100 ft.

We started out Friday after work, drove to Groveland, one hour away from the park. We got lost a little but managed to reach to our motel at 11:30pm. Earlier in the week we couldn't book a cheap room so we decided to sleep in a tent the motel offered. Apparently a lot of people do that too, to save some cash.

Saturday morning we got inside the park by 8. The park was pretty empty. We were told it would get packed later in the day. I couldn't complain. It was nice with less people.

We got to the trail head at 9 exactly. After a few photo ops, we started hiking. At first the weight seemed ok for me. I was used to it. But boy, about half way, the sun was out and it was hot, right at the section there was no shade. I was dying pretty much. At the beginning, we try to make a steady pace, and have 10 mins breaks every 50 mins. After the 3rd one, I requested more frequent stops. Good thing Peter drank a lot of water but that didn't help too much off loading the weight on my back. He asked me jokingly why I was torturing myself and that he found such a great deal on this trip. Usually carrying water up the trail is a big thing for people. I carried all our water (obviously) and when he finished his, I just refilled his. Never have to go stingy on water! About 2/3 of the way, i was pretty drag my foot. I was in exhaustion and Peter suggested me to dump some water. I refused. We finally made it to the top by 1:15. Man, it was such a relief, literally :) I could finally take off my backpack and lie down on the rock. Such a great bed at that moment.

We stayed there at the top of the fall for one hour and 15 mins to lunch and rest and enjoy the view. Beautiful view from the top though it could get better if there was sunshine.

On the way down, while I had no issue (now that my backpack was half the weight as I had dumped the some water), Peter was in misery. His knees couldn't cope very well with the descending, especially on the rocky trail like this one. It was his turne to request frequent stops.

We finally reach to the trail head at 5. We were glad with the result, though this trip was not to time ourselves, not with the backpack I had anyway. Peter runs but doesn't hike so this was his big one since forever.

We stayed Sat night in Groveland again. We took it easy as the town has nothing to offer.

This morning we drove back to the Bay area to "my" training beach. I told my friends how people react when they see me pulling the tire but none had joined me to the beach until today. As usual, some people looked and we ignored them, some were curious and talked to me. It's just part of the routine and in fact it makes the training less boring :)

Because this time I was with someone, I had a lot of pictures taken. I'll post some pictures and video of the hike and the beach tomorrow when download them to my computer.

All in all, hiking national park and beach bumming in one weekend is not too shabby, eh.

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