O.K., O.K.! So I missed a day in my journal. Big deal!
Yesterday we hiked up Chilnualna Falls. It was pretty rough, and I was exhausted when I got to the top, but I made it without stopping.
Today we went back up, and it was a lot easier. Part of the reason was probably the weather. As Moose said it was like December in Illinois. God, I loved it! The thing I miss most about Illinois (other than friends) is the snow and cold weather. Yes, I’m one of those psychos that actually enjoys Chicago winters.
Today we saw this meadow that was really beautiful. There was a fresh layer of snow on the ground, and there were big trees (pines, I think. Definitely not sequoias) all over the place with bright green
moss lichen all over the trunks. I took a picture, and then had Robert (Waffle) take one of me with the meadow in the background for the folks back home.
Today was really a good day. We got pretty far up the Alder Creek Trail. We saw some falls that were pretty neat, and for quite a way above the falls the creek seemed to be moving slowly enough for someone to jump in without worrying about being swept away by the current. It was tempting, let me tell you.
The hike back at the end of the day was really good, too. It was mostly downhill or level, so it wasn’t at all unpleasant. What made it even easier was that we stashed our tools, so we didn’t have that weight to lug home.
We saw some excellent rock work on the trail as well. A tray had been built across a pretty severe gully. It looked really impressive. Now that I think about it, I wish I had gotten a picture. Oh, well. At least I got a picture of the falls.
This hiking is gonna kill me. I used to walk quite a bit, but never above 500 feet. My lungs had better adapt to this altitude pretty quick or they’re fired.
Another hike today. Or rather, a climb. We went to the Vernal and Nevada Falls and most of the trail is pretty steep with lots of granite stairs.
The whole thing was pretty spectacular. We climbed up through the mist at the bottom of Vernal Falls. The granite was pretty slick and the stairs were pretty big but I made it up. When we got to Vernal Falls we all wanted a group picture, so we asked this guy to take it for us. Five or six times—that’s how many of us had cameras. In return, we took his picture with his wife and grandson.
The climb to Nevada Falls was impressive. You could see the falls almost all the way up, from really good angles. I’m really glad I’m here.
This is really an excellent crew I’m on. It might even turn out to be better than Crew 3. This is gonna be an excellent summer.
One thing that caught my attention today were the warning signs near the falls. They warned us not to get too close to the river—
If you fall in the water and go over the falls you will die.
I believe that’s the precise quote. Another sign said—
Active rock slide area. Do not stop for the next 150 yards.