Saturday, May 1, 2004

5/1/04 Yosemite National Park Part 1



要寫遊Yosemite National Park的經歷,還真不知道怎麼開始寫。如果要真的從頭回憶,該是剛到舊金山灣區這兒的頭幾年起。那時,還沒有對國家公園有任何研究,更別說收集國家公園和蓋章。當時,是研究生宿舍辦的活動,而我那時有了車一年,還在那種熱愛開車的狀態,因此他們找司機,我二話不說就報名了。

這一次的旅行真狀況不斷,不過事後回想,倒是留下來非常深的印象。在沒有GPS,沒加入AAA會員,甚至網路還沒有Google Maps的年代,只印了Yahoo Maps簡單的方向,就殺過去了。不過,Yahoo Maps常常不可靠,而我們一車四個人,因為太相信它的指示,因此某個重要的交叉口轉錯彎,再一去一返途中白白浪費了近兩個小時的時間。到Curry Village的帳蓬小木屋時,早就已經半夜了。

如果這樣子就算了。偏偏五月的Yosemite,晚上還是非常冷。我進去分配好的房間,裡面的室友已經睡著了,所以只好靜悄稍地將行李放下,換好睡衣上床睡覺。誰知,睡到一半,竟然被冷醒,而且好笑的是,房間裡的另外一個室友,也同時被冷醒。那時又冷又累,不假思索,便將行李裡剩下的長袖和外套,全部倒出來,蓋在被子上,就這樣勉強又入睡。

第二天醒來的時候,我跟主辦的同學Alfred抱怨說晚上怎麼那麼冷。他的第一個反應是,「你們沒有開暖氣唷?」天啊!!!被凍了一整個晚上,居然是白白活受罪。我跟室友Peter只能互相望著對方,很無奈地說做了蠢事不能怪別人。不過解釋一下,前一天晚上進房間的時間,另一個室友Chris已經在睡了,不好意思開燈,當然也不知道這些tent cabin裡面其實都是有暖氣的~~~~

My first visit to Yosemite National Park, started way before I took an interest in the National Parks and stamp collecting.  Back then, I was just starting school in the Bay Area, bought a car from a friend for a year, and was still in love with driving.  It's no wonder that when the graduate dorm CAs (community associates) called for drivers for a Yosemite NP trip they were organizing, I signed up immediately.

My first memories and impression of Yosemite National Park started on wrong footing.  In the era where GPS was not common and there was no Google Maps (it's so common now you don't really remember what it was like before it huh? ),  we relied on Yahoo Maps, which sometimes gave faulty information that could prove costly.  Unfortunately, we became one of the statistics, and a wrong turn cost us close to an additional driving time of 2 hours.  By the time we were in Curry Village, it was well past midnight.

Were it just for arriving late, I would have been fine.  However, May in Yosemite meant it was still springtime, which also meant freezing nights.  One of our assigned roommates Chris was already asleep in the tent cabin.  Therefore, we tried our best to keep quiet and not wake him up.  Half way through the night, I woke up because of the sheer coldness.  In pitch darkness, I grabbed my suitcase and literally threw whatever was warm on top of my blanket.  I was still shivering, but I managed to go back to sleep.

The second day, I woke up cold and tired.  I complained at how cold and miserable it was, and Alfred, one of the organizers, looked at me surprised.  "You didn't turn on the heater?" he asked.  What?????!!!!!!!!  The tent cabins were heated?!!  Well, obviously, the night before, it was too dark to see anything, let alone know that there was a freaking heater switch in the tent cabin.  Anyways, the second night, it was all good and warm and cozy.... 

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Vernal Fall


在Curry Village,可以搭乘公園內免費的公車,到Happy Isle那一站下,然後馬上就會到trailhead,前往Vernal Fall,Nevada Fall,以及Half Dome。

From Curry Village, we took the free shuttle bus to the Happy Isle stop.  Here, the trails start towards Vernal Fall, continuing the Nevada Fall, and ultimately, Half Dome.. 

這是在瀑布還有河的下游,正準備要開始慢慢爬坡的時候。
This is downstream from Vernal Fall and the river, just before we start our ascent.  

 
要走到Vernal Fall的上面,有兩個步道可以走。第一個是比較遠比較緩的John Muir Trail,而第二個則是比較刺激,比較快,也比較陡的Mist Trail。這也是比較多人會走的trail。它取名叫Mist Trail,不用想也知道,一定會被瀑布落下的霧氣給淋溼。而且,五月正是瀑布水量最大的時候,我們走上那些石階,無一倖免。階梯又溼又窄,還有同時要上去和下來遊客,都有潛在的危險。

另外,從trailhead到Vernal Fall,足足往上爬了1000多ft,也是300多公尺,算是有一定的挑戰的。 發現自己上坡的時候一向都很吃力,而這一次也不例外,走階梯的時候是氣喘虛虛,隨時會倒下的感覺。所幸,一群人在爬的時候,總是會激發一點鬥志,所以最後全憑那意志力走完最後一程。

There are two trails going up to the top of Vernal Fall.  The first route is through John Muir Trail, which is longer, less steep, and more boring.  The second trail, called the Mist Trail, is shorter, steeper, and a hell of a lot more exciting, which is why it is also the more popular trail when it is open.  The trail gets its name from the continual mist from Vernal Fall that falls on the trail steps.  During the spring months, it is so windy and wet that hikers will surely be soaked wet when they climb the steps.  Take caution when walking the steps, as traffic going both ways can be a bit tricky trying to figure out.  Also, the wet steps can be the cause of potential slips.

Lastly, Vernal Falls ascends 1000 ft in just over a mile.  This means that the elevation rise is significant, and can be moderately challenging.  I know it was for me, as I was gasping for breath, and I felt like I was going to collapse any moment.  Luckily, peer pressure fueled my inner competitiveness, and I willed myself to the top.  

終於走到Vernal Fall瀑布上面,和同學們一塊合照。原本開始走的時候還有點涼,穿長袖長褲。沒過多久,就全部換成短袖短褲了。瀑布的邊緣,可在照片中的最左邊看到。

This is the picture taken with the group when we all made it to the top.  You can see the edge of the fall on the left, just when it starts to drop.

從Vernal Fall從上面往下看。左邊可以隱約看到Mist Trail以及上面的遊客。
Vernal Fall looking down.   On the left hand side, you can see the Mist Trail and the other hikers.



瀑布另一頭是個寧靜的小湖Emerald Pool。甭想也知這兒是不能游泳的。
On the other side of the falls is the relatively serene Emerald Pool.  Naturally, no swimming here.

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Bridalveil Fall



Bridalveil Fall是Yosemite NP熱門的風景之一,原因有幾個。第一,它是一進Yosemite Valley會先經過的瀑布之一。其次,在tunnel view看風景的時候,也是跟El Capitan和Half Dome會被同時看到的公園三大景。另外,Bridalveil Fall可是公園裡終年都有水的瀑布。水流量不大的時候,瀑布的水落下時,甚至會直接變成水氣而不會打到地上。

這一天,我們是經過Mist Trail嚴格的挑戰之後,再開到tunnel view,在傍晚夕陽的時刻,享受美景。同行中的幾位同學,是攝影迷,拿出來了高級的設備,等待好久,就為了拍下那完美的照片。 相較之下,我的則是傻瓜底片相機一台。

Bridalveil Falls is one of the icons of Yosemite National Park.  Not only is it one of the first things you notice when driving into the valley, it is also clearly visible at the tunnel view, where visitors are able to see El Capitan and Half Dome, two other things to come and represent the park.   A year-round waterfall, during the months where the waterflow is small, the water turns into mist as it falls and will not reach the ground.

After our Mist Trail workout, we drove to the tunnel view for the sunset.  A few of us were serious amateur photographers, who waited to capture the perfect Kodak moment. 

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Mirror Lake (5/2/04)



Mirror Lake 是一個季節性的湖,也就是說,平常沒有水的時候,它基本上是乾枯的。只有春天和初夏的時候,融化的雪水,會將湖填滿。不過,由於大量沖積的泥沙,使得Mirror Lake一點一點在消逝當中。不知道還要過幾年,就不會再看到這個湖了?

Mirror Lake is a seasonal lake, meaning that there is only water during the months of spring and early summer.  However, because of increasing sedimentation, Mirror Lake is in the process of vanishing. 


因為前一天Mist Trail的挑戰,使得大家第二天都沒什麼體力做別的事了。主辦的同學,為了讓大家還是能走走路,便安排大家去Mirror Lake。跟Mist Trail相比,Mirror Lake的trail根本是在散步,不一會兒就已經到了。2004的五月,Mirror Lake的水不多,只看到泥沙,對於這個景點算是小失望。不過,這一天,大家一塊聚聚,在湖邊聊天,打打水漂,倒成了另一種趣味,到現在記憶猶新。

這一天的輕鬆行程,也使我們這一車,可在吃完午飯後,立刻慢慢再開回灣區。我當時可能不知道,Yosemite National Park將會是我這幾年光顧最多的國家公園,而且接下來每一次來玩,都有不同的體驗和故事。

In contrast to the grueling Mist Trail the day before, the trail to Mirror Lake seemed like a walk in the park (pun not intended).    As you can see, there wasn't much water in the lake this time, this year.  In short, there wasn't really much to see, but we were glad just hanging out as a group and spent the remainder of the morning skipping rocks on Mirror Lake.  Good times.

Thanks to the easy itinerary, we drove back after lunch in the valley.  I enjoyed my time at Yosemite, and little did I know, I would be returning to this park many times in the future, each time with an interesting story to tell.

Go to:  Yosemite National Park Part 2

Official Website:
Yosemite National Park

2 comments:

GGs Adventure said...

我只記得新娘面紗瀑布. 那還真的是好久以前了!不但沒有google map,連網路都不發達.

看來是再去一次的時候了,這次要連惡魔柱一起去..

Deadlockcp said...

Yosemite 東南邊其實還有一些小地方值得稍微逛一下,像是南邊的June Lake Loop,還有Mammoth Lakes的那些小湖。當然,我相信Mono Lake妳應該也有去看吧 :p

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