Up to Buena Vista

One thing I love about backpacking is not setting an alarm. I usually just wake up in a more natural way and this day was no different. I started to feel the air warming up around me and the light was beginning to illuminate the tops of the trees, which was enough to pleasantly wake me up around 6, which for me is pretty early, I’m typically a night owl.

I packed up and fit almost everything into my over-stuffed bag. I made my way down to the creek and found a spot where the water was falling off the rocks a little bit and filled up my water bladder before my long day that would end up being 8+ miles with over 3000ft of elevation gain.

After maneuvering my water bladder into my backpack and heaving it up onto my back I started up the trail. It started with a downhill section which gave me a false sense of how quickly I’d be able to knock out this stretch. I was hoping that I’d be able to get to my next camping spot by like 12 or 1 so that I could enjoy the majority of the day.  Pretty quickly I ran into a park ranger who checked my permit and asked me where I was planning to end up. He also suggested that I refill my water because there wouldn’t be another spot to do so until I got to Buena Vista. In about a mile I found the spot he was referring to stopped, took off my pack which felt nice, and refilled all my water. Then it was back up the trail.

One thing I particularly love about backpacking is you never know what you’re gonna find or run into along the way.  For example….

This was probably at least 4-5 miles from any kind of developed area. I just wonder who brought it out here, and for what reason. Are there golf balls somewhere to find? I don’t remember anywhere that was particularly good for teeing off. I also wonder why they ended up leaving it. Was it purposeful, or did they leave it accidentally. I don’t remember seeing it on the way back so maybe they came back and got it, or maybe someone else did. I love thinking about all the little stories, and possible answers to my questions, that are completely separate from mine but have tiny little intersection into my own. 

The thing I love about the backwoods of Yosemite is that there’s so much diversity and I had a hike that I really wasn’t expecting. It was somewhat marshy, with big thick grasses and dense forests. Wildflowers and moss covered trees were everywhere. I’m not sure what I was expecting, maybe something a bit more rocky with thin trees lining that trail.

I was pretty tired around mile 6 or 7. It was mostly the weight of my pack that made my shoulders pretty sore. Also hiking with a camera around one shoulder surprisingly threw me off and I found that switching shoulders every once and a while was pretty helpful, although for some reason it’s just not very comfortable for me to hold my camera on my left should so I kept it on my right mostly. Here’s how the rest of the hike looked.

I will always say if there’s a place to jump in, especially an alpine lake always do it!  However, be cautious about over exerting yourself especially after a long hike. I saw out to a rock that was peaking out in the middle of the lake, but I almost didn’t make it. My legs were sore and tired and felt like they were about to cramp up. The cold water felt amazing, but made swimming out and back much harder.

The rest of the day I spent laying in the sun on the little rock that I claimed on the bank. I’d jump in every so often and just soak my feet,  which felt pretty great after everything they did that day.

I found a good camping spot about 150 feet from my rock and overlooking the lake. I moved my stuff, set up my tent, and went out to explore the lake. I was looking for a good spot to see the moonrise over the lake, it was going to be mostly full that night. Unfortunately there wasn’t really anything that was facing a direction that I liked, I was hoping for somewhere I could get the lake in the foreground, but the surrounding mountains were too high to get both the lake and the moon in the shot, or at least in the shot I was envisioning. 

There were also a lot more people at the lake than I was expecting. There was a family, a couple fishing, and a few more that were down the bank a little ways. The only issue was that you could hear everyone’s conversations across the lake pretty clearly because everything would echo off the walls of the mountain and across the clear calm water.

Someone even stole my rock for dinner. I was kinda annoyed by that, but I guess I have no right to that rock, even though my campsite was right above it. I had a spot I wanted to photograph from that rock too, so I just went over there anyways and set up my camera, and put a pot of water on and cooked my dinner.

Night came slowly and the night was bright with the moon nearly full, but after the stars came out I shot the night sky for a little bit, and I found an awesome tree.

It was another beautiful night.

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