May 3, 1987: Ribbon Falls

Yesterday I went with Kim (Orr), Wayne (Vanderleest), Anne (Tam), and Chris (Graffam) to the bottom of Ribbon Falls. It was the best adventuring I’ve done so far.

The hike up was more of a scramble over boulders as we followed the creek up to the falls. I really enjoy scrambling. I did quite a bit of it up at Del Norte on the rocks with which the entire coast line is strewn.

We found a couple of interesting caves on the way up. The first one only went back about 30 feet or so into the rock. The interesting thing about it was the ledge along the back wall that would have served as a mighty fine bed if someone had to hole up in the cave to wait out a storm.

The second was quite a bit longer and went back quite a ways before turning up and coming out the backside of a boulder.

When we got to the base of the falls, it was truly spectacular. We were right next to El Cap, and the canyon wall has a kind of horseshoe indentation right here. The falls are on the right side of the horseshoe (looking up), and as the water cascaded over the edge, it filled the entire horseshoe with mist. The mist swirled around in the air, twisted and turned by the wind.

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When the water gets to the bottom, there are only about four or five narrow streams running down the rock. The rest of the water gets to the bottom in the form of the mist, which is so heavy right by the canyon wall that it seems like a hard rainstorm.

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Today, I’m just kickin’ back. I did some laundry this morning, and went to the showers and the store. This afternoon has been spent reading John Muir: To Yosemite and Beyond. The more I read and find out about the man, the more I admire him. It seems like I’m currently in the position he was in after leaving the University of Wisconsin—trying to figure out what the heck to do with the rest of my life.

Right now I’m sitting in my favorite spot on the river bank. There are some small lizards which seem to enjoy spending their time running back and forth on the rock below me right on the water’s edge. I’ve really enjoyed watching these guys run around. It seems they’re now taking an interest in me. Just now one of them scrambled up the bank to a rock about ten feet away from me. I just barely caught the blur of movement out of the corner of my eye. When I turned my head to look, he froze. We stared at each other for about a minute, then I made a move as if to get up. The lizard freaked out and scrambled back down the bank. I could have sworn I heard it yell “Run awa-a-a-a-a-ay!” I think I’ll name him Tim.

Categories: Backcountry, CCC, Hiking, Yosemite | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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