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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > TR: Yosemite Valley at Christmas Time

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Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 01/02/17 12:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite, Christmas Time, Winter Storm Warning....My kind of road trip (Ruths too).

I didn't know if I was going to get Friday off work until Tuesday night. So I kind of sorta had stuff ready to go, ok I 'm lying, aside from having full propane tanks and winter bedding in place I hadn't done jack.

I went into hustle mode. Checked the weather: cold but not cold enough to think about draining the water system. It looked like if we made it into Yosemite by Late Thursday night we could beat the storm with its heavy rain and wind turning to snow on Friday.

Hit the market and loaded up on good stuff; chef Eric was going to be cooking all the meals. Hit OSH for a big sheet of Reflectix and a roll of adhesive backed velcro. Loaded in the snow shoes, ice tracks, goretex outerwear, heavy boots, head lamps, first aid kit, space blankets, hooded down jackets theml underear, and day packs

First things first, Insulate that nagging cold spot in the Lance the back door. I cut a sodlid sheet of reflectix to fit it. The only part not covered was the handle and lock. 1” thick closed cell foam covered the door windows and over that went the reflectix held in place by velcro.

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Of course since I was supposed to get off work at 5 it ended up as 6 so we got on the road at 7:30 and promptly went into crawl mode with 20,000 commuters going up and over the Altamont pass on I 580.

Around 10:30 PM we dropped down into the Merced River canyon past Midpines and made our way to the one lane bridge detour where we sat for what seemed to be an eternity.

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we finally got a green light
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around midnight we arrived at the upper pines campground. They had 3 loops =150 campsites open. Only 30 0r so were occupied
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the next morning at first light my 3 furballs woke me from my slumber with that dad take us for a walk or we will pee on the floor noise. It was 29*... not bad

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There was one or two Class As, a few Class C Cruise America rentals 3 VW Camper Vans a couple of tents and a nice contingent of TC's in the Campground
even a rental TC
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So after breakfast and coffee put a smile on our faces we walked over to (thanks to the greedy folks at Delaware North forcing a name change) Half Dome Village (Curry Village) to pay our campground fees. That done it was hike time. Ruth summoned her inner earth goddess voice and said let it storm..

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Mother Nature Promptly complied

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Rain and lots of it, but hey we had full goretex jacket, pants, hats and boots
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Ice and rain
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the Merced River
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The Majestic Hotel at Yosemite (Ahwahnee) , More Delaware North BS
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By the time we got back to the TC the wet had turned to white

Jake the old man of the pack at age 12
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Watson age 5
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Zack age 1and seeing snow for the first time
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It really started to dump

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The temps dropped to 24 Friday night. Inside the TC we had the furnace on low and it was still to warm for our taste for sleeping. The foam and reflectix panels on the windows and doors really minimized the heat loss from the camper

Morning was glorious

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My first task after breakfast was to clear the snow off the solar panels

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Then it was hike time. Down jackets, gaiters, boots with ice spikes ( no falling on the ice this trip)
the Spikes were invaluable as under the snow was hard ice and one the rougher trails it meant the difference in just walking along or taking a bad slip and fall
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We would hike 13 miles through 4-6”s of snow all over the valley on Saturday. The photos speak for themselves

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one of my favorites
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and just like that the weather can change in the mountains
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Back at the TC paying attention to the guard doggies
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our well earned Christmas Eve dinner. Tri Tip, sauteed vegis and rice
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Well the weather changed and the temps dropped into the low teens for Chistmas morning but we were absolutely warm in the Lance.

The Merced which had been flowing clear was now ice choked
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it was 15 degrees as we started our ten mile hike to mirror lake and back in a big wandering loop
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We hiked just over 31 miles in 3 days. Not bad for being 60. When we headed out of the campground in the truck to head home the temperature had warmed up to 21. The 6.7L Ford Diesel fired right up and with 4wd and M+S rated tire there was no need to chain up and we drove right on out. As we passed the Arch Rock entrance station leaving the park they were doing tire and chain inspections. The backup stretched for over a mile. Note to self either arrive late at night or super early in the mornings.

Great trip, with the weather we had most of the valley trails to ourselves. It's the only way to do Yosemite Valley if you want my opinion. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

* This post was last edited 01/02/17 12:47am by Buzzcut1 *   View edit history


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jimh425

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Posted: 01/02/17 12:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice TR and pics as usual.


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pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Posted: 01/02/17 04:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful!

Great TR - thanks!


"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

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Trip Pics

Mortimer Brewster

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Posted: 01/02/17 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gorgeous photos! This will help get me through the winter. I was thinking the lack of traffic jams in the valley when I read about the back up at the entrance. I guess they gotta have 'em. Great TR!

Nemo667

Louisiana

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Posted: 01/02/17 06:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buzz, Thanks for the great pictures and post. The Ahwahnee Hotel and Camp Curry will always be The Ahwahnee Hotel and Camp Curry in my mind...


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jmckelvy

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Posted: 01/02/17 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NICE! Always enjoy your trip reports. Thanks.

I kept looking for a photo of those delicious looking breakfasts you usually post. I guess the dinner photo will do. [emoticon]


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billyray50

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Posted: 01/02/17 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great Pictures and trip report Buzz! Happy New Year!

Clarryhill

Midcoast Maine

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Posted: 01/02/17 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful trip pics, Eric (as usual). Many thanks for bringing us along vicariously. The effort to put a trip report together is really greatly appreciated. Quick question, did you use internal water or just heat and lights?


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exhaustipated

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Posted: 01/02/17 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! Thanks for sharing this great trip report and wonderful photos as the photography is absolutely gorgeous.


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cewillis

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Posted: 01/02/17 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic winter wonderland pictures and adventure. Thanks, Buzz.
No Ahwahnee Hotel dinner this trip, huh?


Cal


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