Yosemite 2003 – When Geoff Turned 50

Looking back at some old photos today, I decided to do another retro post – from 2003. This was the year that Geoff turned 50, and to help him celebrate, seven of us flew out to California for a three week sojourn in Yosemite.

Yosemite is a good half day’s drive from San Francisco, so we passed a couple of days in the city getting over the jet lag and stocking up on all the gas and backpacking food we needed at REI, as well as doing a bit of touristy stuff.

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We had hired three cars between us, to take us on our travels.

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Arriving at Yosemite, in the middle of the third afternoon, we passed a couple of hours seeing the tourist bits of the valley, before moving on to our campsite at Tuolumne Meadows.

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At about 5,000ft, the valley is where most people congregate, but 60 odd miles away there is a wonderfully atmospheric campground at Tuolumne Meadows. This is up at 8,600ft and is a great base camp for spending some time acclimatising to the altitude.

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So, for about 10 days, we passed the time on day walks in the surrounding area.

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We didn’t all do the same routes together each day, but had a tendency to split into 2 or 3 groups, do whatever we felt like, then meet up again in the evening.

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Once nicely acclimatised, we ventured out on an 8 day backpacking route into the wilderness, that Geoff and I had planned.

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Once again, we didn’t all walk together, but had prearranged spots where we met up each night.

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We all actually walked the same route, but found that we all packed up at different rates, walked at different speeds and got up at different times, so doing the walking individually or in small groups worked best.

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The final two nights of the route were spent in the same spot, so that a nearby peak – Fletcher Peak – could be scaled.

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Special memories 🙂

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About chrissiedixie

Love being out on the moors and mountains, backpacking, dogs, travelling generally. Favourite place in the world - Yosemite National Park. Retired teacher and ex Mountain Rescue Deputy Team Leader. Married to Geoff, who puts up with all sorts.
This entry was posted in Backpacking Trips, Trips Abroad. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Yosemite 2003 – When Geoff Turned 50

  1. Martin Rye says:

    What a special place. It’s reputation is world class. Love to see it. Thanks for that.

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  2. Dawn says:

    Looks awesome.

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  3. backpackingbongos says:

    Looks pretty good and SUNNY!

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  4. beatingthebounds says:

    Wow! That’s stunning. Amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it!
    Where did Geoff get that hat?
    Actually, seriously though, I shall be 50 fairly soon. (Not as soon as Andy, I should like it to be known.) I need to get The Better Half to see this post somehow. Otherwise she may accidentally book a table at a local pizza restaurant, thinking I would prefer that, perhaps one where the pizzas are cheap, say on a two-for-one offer*, rather than booking several days at Yosemite.
    (*No honestly, and the proprietor was sneaking out and buying the pizzas from the Co-Op next door. Well not sneaking actually, just walking through the restaurant, past our table, into the shop and out again with a bag full of pizzas. Not that I’m bitter or anything.)

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    • Lol, you must have made that up about the pizza restaurant! Anyway, I’m sure you’ll find that your wife has already got all the tickets/permits/bookings etc for Yosemite well under control…

      Good hat with it’s own aerial, eh? Never without a mobile signal 🙂

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      • beatingthebounds says:

        No word of a lie. To be fair, we’d eaten there before and the food was usually very good. But it was run by a husband and wife team who didn’t always see eye to eye. She put the pizzas on offer, he refused to make them at that price. They were comic. He always kept you entertained whilst you were waiting for your meal, by swearing in Italian from the kitchen.

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  5. southwestdesertlover says:

    Hi Chrissie – fabulous posting as always. The Sierra Nevada is always a delight regardless of the weather (in my mind..). Great big virtual hug and chop kisses for Dixie and Tilly. :^)

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    • Hi Karen, I totally agree 🙂 In fact, one August when we were there, we had an amazing snow storm one day. Most of the snow was gone within 24 hours, but it was great fun at the time!

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  6. Sartenada says:

    Gorgeous photos and so interesting to me. We have visited there twice and it stays in our mind always. Thank You for this lovely post.

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  7. surfnslide says:

    My dream holiday! I’ve visited Yosemite and whilst majestic it was mobbed. We drove past Tuolumne and it looked magnificent and the walking there looks amazing. Car camping at 8000+ feet and backpacking is the way to go. One day, one day!

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  8. I missed going on a trip to Yosemite with the Open University Mountaineering Society a few years back.

    I did the same thing for my 50th – an altitude trip – that’s when I attempted Kili and Mt. Kenya… and failed miserable with the altitude on both! 😦
    Carol.

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    • The first time we attempted anything at altitude, was some years earlier when we made an attempt on Mt Whitney. At 14,505ft, this is the highest peak in the States outside Alaska, and most people do it as a 3 day backpack. We made it to just over 12,000ft and spent the night there, but I was so ill! As it happened, the weather was really bad the next day, so we couldn’t continue, but I couldn’t have anyway. We’d gone up far too quickly. 😦 But by the time we did Geoff’s 50th trip, we’d been over there half a dozen times and had got the acclimatising thing down to a fine art. Everyone’s different of course, but we now know what we need to do to keep my body reasonably happy 🙂

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      • I just need the extra days myself – I’m okay to about 15000 feet but then I need to spend a couple of days at each new altitude – most trips you go on don’t allow you longer than overnight unfortunately 😦

        I’m not sure but I think I read somewhere that, once you’ve been to altitude, you acclimatise quicker the next times.
        Carol.

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