More details about our July 2008 Yosemite backpacking trip with Emma Boyd

Here is the group that undertook the adventure. We rented this Jeep for the trip where you can see the front seat and the back seat passengers. After we arrive at Yosemite Creek campground a fun first exploration is some rock climbing as you can see here with Emma and Claire. Our first afternoon on this trip we had a brief thunderstorm. You can get an idea of the sound of the rain in that brief video.

The second day of our trip we got up reasonably early, had a quick breakfast, stuffed all our food into the bear box, backed our backpacks, and started our hike. Early on the trail we had to cross Yosemite Creek as you can see Faye and Claire and Emma doing. Here is a random shot from the trail, one from a rest stop by a blazed Ponderosa pine, and a brief video from the trail. We passed through this beautiful meadow before crossing this pass where we tried to call the worried mothers to no effect. On the way up we saw several marmots like this one near the pass and this one that I got a brief video of. We also saw many beautiful flowers along the way like this wild columbine and this sego lily. Finally we dropped into the valley of Ten Lakes where we took this and this picture.

After we set up camp at Ten Lakes there was time for a quick swim (that's Faye in the distance waving) in the very cold water before boiling water for our freeze dried meals. After eating we had some time around the camp fire when we were visited by some deer who were quite tame.

In the morning I took a quick day hike to the upper lake while the girls were still sleeping (that's my pad outside the tent that was too small for four except in an emergency - which thankfully we didn't have). After breakfast we took time for some pictures by this lovely cascade at the upper end of the lake. There are beautiful flowers right down to the lake in some places. We took some time for some handstand pictures like this one with Emma and Claire and this one with Faye and Claire. Some of the scenery is stunning. Here we are posing by our camp site at the lake. We even had a little time to play at a snow field by the lake where Claire threw this snowball at me.

This was only a short visit, so we picked up water at the local stream and headed back up out of the Ten Lakes basin. You can get pretty good views of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne from the trail. Here is what the skyline looked like from the pass. On the return trip we saw many more interesting forms of wildlife like this mountain quail, this american marten (not my picture, it was too shy for me to capture an image), this beautiful beetle (identity?), and of course many more wildflowers than I can identify such as this alpine lily, this indian paintbrush, and a whole meadow full of shooting stars! We even found Emma's sun glasses that had fallen by the trail (see them hidden by that log?) at a rest stop on the hike in.

As we crossed Yosemite Creek on our return trip we got to cool our feet and later took time for a dip in the creek and a brief swim in that cold (!) water. That evening we had hot dogs for dinner.

Our final full day in Yosemite was a full one as we explored as much of the park as we could by car. We started down in the valley visiting bridal veil falls where I got in another hand stand and we got this still and video of the girls. We stopped briefly for a shot of El Capitan from the valley floor. We picked up some food and had a brief lunch (trading ice cream flavors) at Yosemite Village. While in the valley we also visited the lower part of Yosemite Falls where we climbed up to this pool where we had fun like Claire swiming out to this rock and enticing these younger girls into that cold water.

We also had time to explore some more in the high country at the Tuolumne giant Sequoia grove where the girls got into the base of the fallen giant and I got another hand stand picture from on top of it. We also got to drive by Olmstead point for a view of Clouds Rest and Half Dome from the high country before visiting Tuolumne Meadows where we got to fill our water bottles from the bubbling soda springs. That evening we had hamburger pieces (showing Emma blowing on the coals to heat them up) around our last camp fire.

All in all a delightful trip - despite the occasional mosquito that seemed to bother Claire much more than the rest of us.