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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Road tripping Yosemite in a winter storm

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Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 12/09/13 11:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sometimes you get an urge to do something and even though common sense is screaming at you that this might not be the wisest time to go and you say what the heck, we planned on cold and snow and the forecast is just for colder and more snow. We had a blast

The genesis for the trip actually occurred while strolling the aisles of Costco and spying, then buying, two sets of snowshoes and poles. Now all we need is to go camping when there is snow. That insightfull stimuli which set everything in motion.

I had been insulating the water system, making foam cutouts to cover all the windows, vents, hatches, and skylights. I had a third 20# propane tank to take along. Now all we needed was a date.

Sometimes things just happen. My drivers Lic. needed to be renewed and the only appointment I could get before it expired was a Friday at mid morning, how convenient for an early Friday getaway. It helps that I drive for a living and that the boss knew I needed to renew it so I got Friday, December the 6th off work.

So we loaded up the toys , food, cameras and got ready to go. Then the Weather forecast which had been for temps in the low 20s and 3-4 days of snow, changed to 2-3 days of snow, high winds and 12-14 inches of snow with temps below zero....Hmmn I thought about not going to Yosemite, but my wife, the hard core one said: nonsense figure out how to protect the plumbing and lets go.

So I drained all the water out of the TC added a gallon of Antifreeze to the black and the grey tanks and loaded up 10 gallons of drinking water in jugs.

Had the DMV stuff done by 11:15 and we were on the road by 1pm headed for Yosemite. We stopped at Bass Pro in Manteca to pick up some nicer insulated gloves and headed on down the road to beat the storm to Yosemite.

Late Afternoon and we entered the foothills on hwy 140 from Merced, you could tell it was going to be a race between us and the front to the valley

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We made a quick stop at the hardware store in Mariposa to pick up a weather station with a wireless outside sensor so we could know how bad it was going to get.

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We reached Yosemite just after dark due to a slight delay ant the one lane bridge at the rockslide on 140

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the temp was 29*, paid for our 2014 all parks pass at the Arch Rock entrance station above El Portal and continued in the Valley at 4000 feet. The main road had some nice icy sections so I found myself switching in and out of 4x4.

We ended up in side 73 of the Upper Pines campground where we did a quick level, walk the dogs, make dinner and engoyed some beer before calling it a night.

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Around 9pm we started hear the storm. At first it was the sounds of ice crystals hitting the skylights and the wind then everything got muffled by the snow. At 3am we were awakened by a loud whump of snow hitting the camper. I assumed it was a tree branch unloading on us. Nope it turned out to be the nose of the lance unloading onto the hood of the truck

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there was nothing on the table when we went to sleep

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The dogs had a blast

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Then came round two of the storm

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So of course we strapped on the snowshoes and headed over to Campground Reservations at Curry Village to pay our site fees, it was 15*

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at times you could see a mile at other times maybe 50 feet with howling winds and blowing snow, we were having a blast.

Washington Cloumn

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North Dome

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Yosemite Falls

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Glacier Point

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The clouds parted and there was Half Dome

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Time to eat lunch and charge up the TC Batteries after snowshoeing for 2.5 hours

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After luch we strapped the snowshoes back on and headed up to Mirror Lake

The Merced river was frozen over

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Me with Tenaya Creek in the background

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from a ice and snow covered Mirror lake looking at Mt Watkins

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Ruth breaking trail on the way back towards the campsite

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We had about 20 minutes of light left when we reached the plowed roads which by now were sheets of ice so we decided to take off the snow shoes and put our ice tracks on the boots for the final 2 miles back to the truck so we would not run out of light. this is what they are

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Thats when disaster struck. I kick myself for not checking Ruths gear after she put her's on, but hindsight is 20-20. One of her ice tracks failed and she fell. She knew the Fibula was broken right away but got to her feet siad the heck with it lets go, and with me carrying all the gear and help her she limped the mile back to the truck. My wife is one tough woman she gritted her way back, would not let me take her to valley EMS. She just said grab your gear splint it, wrap it, ice it elevate and get me a beer. so I did.

The temps dropped into the single digits that night. We were warm and toasty, the foam panels made it so we had no condensation, and my splint job let Ruth sleep soundly

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The next morning after coffee I packed everything up, put on the chains, helped Ruth to the front seat of the truck and we drove out of the valley over very icy roads with an eventual destinaion of the ER at Kaiser Modesto

We took photos all the way and the chains stayed on until after the Arch Rock entrance station

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Yosemite Falls

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The Merced

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the nose of El Capitan

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90% ICE, I was really glad to have chains on the rear tires going downhill

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Back at the one lane bridge on hwy 140

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We stopped and had Breakfast at the Miners Cafe in Mariposa then continued on down the road

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Watching the last Icicles melt off the mirror

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At the ER. Xrays showed a non displaced fracture of the distal head of the Fibula. They splinted it and today an orthopedist put a cast on for 3 weeks

Ruth is already planning our next trip from when the cast is off. I picked the right woman, or was it she picked me?

* This post was last edited 12/12/13 12:46am by Buzzcut1 *   View edit history


2011 F350 6.7L Diesel 4x4 CrewCab longbed Dually, 08 Lance 1055, Torqlift Talons, Fast Guns, upper and lower Stable Loads, Super Hitch, 48" Super Truss, Airlift loadlifter 5000 extreme airbags


Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 12/09/13 11:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

all in all it was a good trip. Those are Ruths' sentiments. We got in 6 hours of snowshoeing, had the TC performing nicely and got to see Yosemite in a storm that only had a few hundred people in the Valley with us at the same time. High temps were in the mid 30s with a Low of 7 degrees. The chains from Les Schwab were the easiest I have ever installed. I got a kick out of seeing "Official" Chain installers charge folks at the Arch Rock Entrance on 140 to put on the chains for them. We can't wait to do it again

Gamagoat

NorCal

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Posted: 12/09/13 11:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip report. Thanks for sharing

Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 12/09/13 11:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

if you want to see all the photos in full size rather that the reduced forum size go to the slideshow> http://s20.photobucket.com/user/Eric1218........deshow/2013%20Photographs/Yosemite%20Dec

raymondmom

California

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Posted: 12/09/13 11:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful pictures!

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 12/10/13 12:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry about the leg and hope for a speedy recovery. That looks like an excellent trip. You have been doing a great job of getting out and doing things for this time of year and thanks for the much appreciated trip reports.


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 12/10/13 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A great adventure, and outstanding winter pictures. Heel quickly, Ruth.


Cal


naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 12/10/13 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear of the fracture, but glad it turned out not-so-bad. Hope she heals up fast and without complications.

As for "I picked the right woman, or was it she picked me?" I can only say it is a wise man who accepts that she picked you, and that you got lucky, and that indeed, she's the right one. A wiser man makes sure she knows you know.

Thanks for the trip report and for the photos. Good job.





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KEIZER, OREGON

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Posted: 12/10/13 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome pics!


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sabconsulting

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Posted: 12/10/13 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful - pretty extreme camping, and Ruth is seriously tough!

Cheers,

Steve.


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