Yosemite Park – a cheap visit

Yosemite park, like many wonders in the States, only makes news when some hiker dies there. Haven’t seen Indians there.

If one is single it is cheap to go there.

I backpacked.

First was the transportation. There is a train and then bus. It is convenient, slow, and slightly expensive. I looked for Ride Sharing in craigslist.org. I found a woman wanted to go for rock climbing for the weekend. We found convenient timing. He had the car, we drove, and I paid her $10 each way. Came out good for both.

She licked me up at about 9 AM. She drove and we reached Yosemite from Oakland in about 3-4 hours.

She was going to stay in a temp site especially for rock climbers. I went to the reception and got a site for backpackers. They are always available through out the year when there is no snow. And the place to pitch your tent is $5 per night. It is voluntary, but sometimes they check. Don’t try to cheat there. First they asked me to go to a further away site, but when they saw that I am without a car, asked me to take the nearest site. All park rangers are selected through extremely tight selection. Once my guide was from Yale, and they are paid minimal salary. But they are doing what they like the most. They are very helpful to lonely trekkers like me.

Time to have a coffee. It was $1.25. But when they saw that I had brought my own resealable large mug, they filled it up, and the charge was $0.62. I guess 50% off.

After a brief stop at the site, where I put in my 2-person tent and some other gear, it was off to hiking.

On way, I saw a huge waterfall very popular in Yosemite. But I didn’t explore from nearby as many young people were doing. Few week ago a young hiker there slipped, two of her co-hikers tried to help, result all three got dragged down hundreds of meters, their bodies are found a few days later.

Two years back an Indian girl, who took dare-devil hikes, and YouTubed her exploits, slipped, and her body was found, or not found later. I avoid such scenarios. I am very careful. Read in a book hundreds of rock climbers and hikers die each year, and they don’t even make it to home newspapers. Nature does not care. No need to prove myself there.

I same back after a few hours. Sometimes I went for multiple days hike, 5 days at most. Have to carry the camp. Tiny stove, coffe-maker. It’s fun. Having coffee at the top, made on your tiny stove which you carried up, is satisfying. So I try to keep them light, carrying bare essentials. It’s more fun though. More dangerous though. If I get wounded, it might be days, before I am discovered.

Last time I went it is near the end of season. It is possible I would have been discovered by early visitors of the next season. By I mean my half frozen, half eaten body. It is not so dangerous, really.

More cautious as a result.

Next day went for another hike and then met the girl in the welcome center around 6 PM. There was some problem with the phone connection there. Mountains. And off to home.

I see a few Indians there. They come by car, and they explore area nearly. About 3-4 hours walk. Not bad. And refreshment is sold in the Visitor site.

It was a fun and cheap trip to Yosemite.

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