July 17: Yosemite

I think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said, “There’s no place like Yosemite.” I know, she said “home,” but as I pedaled through the park all day I thought God created a very special place that reflects beauty, awesomeness, majesty, and I kept thinking “there’s no place like Yosemite.”
I started the day with the climb up the eastern scarp of the Sierra Nevada to Tioga Pass. It was steep and consistent , all the way from Lee Vining to 9945′. But I would rank it easier than Monitor, which had some sections that got steeper. The weather was beautiful and I stopped frequently for photos (also a good excuse to catch my breathe).at the top, the rangers just waved me through and I descended down to Tuolumne Meadows, where I ate lunch. I talked to some folks doing the John Muir Trail; talked to a Danish couple about good day hikes in the area (sent them to Cathedral Lake); and talked to Harvey from New Jersey who is close to retirement and wants to get into cycle touring.
There was a surprising amount of climbing in the high country as I left Tuolomne and headed toward Yosemite Valley. Climbs out of the meadow, after Tenaya Lake, a long climb up to White Wolf, and a shorter on before dropping to Crane Flat. Saw a small fire on the rim just west of Yosemite Creek, which was barely flowing. The descent into the Valley was steep and fun, keeping up with the traffic and staying away from the little stone wall that is all there is between you and the Merced River far below.
In the Valley it was VERY congested and all the campgrounds were full. I tried unsuccessfully to share a site with someone, visiting multiple sites in Lower Pines and Camp 4; in addition, the rangers were really active at sweeping out the “extras” from the camp. If you didn’t have a tag for your tent ( I didn’t, having got to the camp after the kiosk closed at 6pm), you were told to clear out fast or get cited and fined.
I ended up cycling back down the valley, then up toward Tunnel View, where I dry-camped off the road a ways. Hung my bags from a tree limb to keep my food away from the bears.
Yosemite is one of those places that moves you by it’s beauty and size. It stirs one to think of bigger things; it reminds me of Romans 1:20 which reminds us that these places point to their Creator, and we are to acknowledge and worship Him, not the creation. My heart was filled with worship today, even as I was grinding up some big grades.












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