Monday, August 15, 2011
The last day of our Yosemite trip took us up into the northwest park of the park - Hetch Hetchy reservoir. The city of San Francisco actually gets its water from the dam in this beautiful area.
But before we drove up there from Wawona, we wanted to take a brief hike up to Chilnualna Falls.
This is a forceful, beautiful waterfall that is made up of 5 tiers. We'd almost stopped hiking at the lowest tier, but we're glad we continued onward to this, the largest tier.
Unfortunately there's nowhere you can photograph all 5 tiers at once, and we weren't up for hiking all the way to the top.
We started hiking along a meadow loop trail where we found this pretty flower, but we turned around quickly. My feet were killing me from our Vernal and Nevada Falls hike the day before. I'd started the hike off with my shoes still soaked from visiting Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite Valley, which then became further soaked on the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls. Unfortunately hiking a steep trail in wet shoes makes for some blistery feet, and I was struggling just to walk along this flat, easy trail around the meadow. Our plans that night were to go backpacking to a campsite 7 miles into the Hetch Hetchy area, so I figured I should save my feet as best I could until then.
It may be in the same park, but the drive from Wawona to Hetch Hetchy was not short. It took a couple of hours to get all the way up there, especially as we drove close to Yosemite Valley on the Saturday before Memorial Day. At least the drive was scenic.
The Hetch Hetchy reservoir was gorgeous!
Previous to this day we'd been hiking at nice campsites within Yosemite Park, and we'd been sleeping fairly well with temperatures no lower than 42 degrees farenheit. Unfortunately we learned that the low in Hetch Hetchy would be 31 degrees with a decent chance of snow. I was terrified of sleeping at this temperature since we'd be backpacking 7 miles and wouldn't be able to bring extra blankets with us, and my feet were still really hurting from the day before. Once we made it to Hetch Hetchy and I saw that predicted temperature, I turned to Oscar and said "I can't do this honey. I can't."
Oscar still wanted to do the backpacking trip, though he admitted that it was more to say he'd done it than because he'd actually enjoy it. But he was kind enough to back out of the trip since I wasn't feeling up to it.
We still decided to go into the area and see the gorgeous views, but we didn't do any hiking.
It might not be a natural waterfall, but I really enjoyed the powerful cascades shooting out of the dam.
We knew we'd have a killer hard time trying to find a hotel or campsite at last minute without internet access on Memorial Day weekend. So instead I called some of my relatives in Napa, CA and asked if we'd be able to stay a night with them.
It was a bit cloudy, but there was some beautiful scenery along our way.
And we made it into Napa just after watching a pretty sunset from the highway.