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A trip to Rancheria Falls with the ladies

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A trip to Rancheria Falls with the ladies

Postby hikerduane » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:22 pm

I was invited to bp with Lady Maritel (Maria), keyka1a (Karen) and DogPatchLair (Heidi) for a weekend trip into Rancheria Falls last weekend. Next time I'll know that it is hot already this time of year. Maria was trying for Cathedral Lakes but put in for a permit way too late, so she had to settle for Rancheria Falls. Most of us bped in on Friday, Heidi joined us Saturday morning early, she made good time hiking in, or was it the bear she saw that motivated her?:) Maria and Karen slept in Karen's suv Thursday night and I stayed at the bpers CG at TM. I got to talk to some PCTer's who said they were ahead of most of the "herd". Nice chat with them before it got dark and we hit the sack.

The three of us had different paces going into the Falls so I went back and forth between the ladies a couple times. They dallied taking photos of O' Shaughnessy Dam so I had to hang in there a bit chomping at the bit. I noticed poison oak right away along the trail and pointed it out so we could have a pleasant trip without the itch if any of us had issues w/it. I ended up hiking most of the way with Maria, then had to go ahead to Tiltill Creek to get Maria some water as the heat was bothering her and she thought she was getting too tired. Karen said the temps were 95 in the sun and 88-90 in the shade, can't remember what she said. We were worried about Karen until a bper brought us a note which said Karen had hurt her ankle at Wapama Falls but would be along, it would just take awhile. I went back aways to see if I could help or see her, but found out later she stayed at the falls for 2 hours soaking her ankle so I would have had to back track all the way from Tiltill Creek to Wapama Falls. We learned after she got home that she had a broken bone in her foot. After not seeing her and wondering if she had turned back, I caught up to Maria at Tiltill Creek where I had dropped my pack. Maria was feeling much better by then, seems the GU was kicking in pretty good. We made it up to the camping area at Rancheria Falls and set up in the remaining site that was in the shade. With the heat and issues it took us about 6 hours to get there. We were starting to feel a little guilty about leaving Karen behind and rationalizing our actions. As it turned out, Karen was pretty tough and made it to camp at 8:00 that night. After I heard she was close to camp, I jogged down the trail a short ways and relieved her of her pack. Everyone seemed to know of us by now, so as Karen walked into camp another group of guys close by started clapping for her. That was neat. Anyway, the next morning Heidi showed up and I hiked up to the falls with her too and later all of us except Karen hiked down to the slides and played in the water a little. I was the only one able to make it over to where you could slide down the algae covered rock into the pools. Heidi didn't dare to hop across a gap in the rock to where I was sliding. When she got out of the pool the way she had come in she was face to face with a small snake and screamed. I had to scare it off by throwing some water at it. Can't take wimmen anywhere.:) We joined Karen for more soaking in the water on and off during the day as it was warm even in the shade at the cg. I fished a little and caught a small trout for dinner and lost another later that day, no big deal. I noticed even at the cg that there were a couple poison oak plants growing between us and the creek. The ladies were a hoot to be around. We all stayed up until 10-10:30 both nights. They set up there shelters and I slept out in the open as the mosquitos were few and only a few showed up at bed time and a few in the morning about the time to get up.

Karen didn't share so she was howling at the moon, really and Maria only brought a miniature bottle of Bailey's which she shared with me. I didn't think the ladies would bring anything so I didn't, wrong move. When we hiked out on Sunday, Heidi and I went early and Maria and Karen left shortly after. Even with taking photos at the dam again, we made it out in almost 3 hours back to the parking area. Heidi seemed to have all the luck with the critters on this trip. On the hike out on Sunday, she was ahead at one spot, although she wanted me to go ahead most of the time, but she came across a small rattler in the trail and that freaked her out some too. I grabbed a small stick and coaxed it off the trail and a little further.

Plenty of flowers still blooming along the trail and along the road in one spot some very fragrant ones with large white blossoms, I can't recall now what they are called, some grow up here in the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area. Gas was cheaper in Yosemite at $3.69 so I got 5 gals to make it to CC instead of getting gas in Lee Vining or Bridgeport. Can we say $3.99 and $4.09 gal. in those towns? I had a great burrito in Bridgeport which I am sure was half the price of what it would have been at the Whoa Nellie Deli. Traffic was light going down 395 on Thursday after work, I made it into Yosemite over Tioga Pass in 3 hours even with a stop in Walker for food. Usually it takes 3 hours from Carson City to get to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite. I thought it was supposed to cool down last weekend, but it didn't where we were, but on the drive out on Sunday, I had the windows mostly rolled up with 3" down on my side.

Here is Maria's photos, she likes to take some of herself, but she has a good assortment of all areas of our trip and a very nice one of Hetch Hetchy to start out. http://ladymaritel.smugmug.com/gallery/ ... #166672677
Piece of cake.



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Postby Sharp Rock » Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:05 am

Duane,

Excellent trip! It's been at least 2 decades since I've taken the short drive into Hetch Hetchy from 120. Really enjoyed Maria's pictures, but at that elevation, I'll bet it was HOT. And Karen! What a tough little trooper! I hope she heals up fast. That looked like a nasty injury. :eek: Loved the part about the snakes. In my mid-late 20s I used to hang out with a group of ladies on camping trips too. I had to investigate every little sound out in the DARK. :nod: Brought back some fond memories.

Thank you for sharing your trip. :)

Jerry
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Postby hikerduane » Sat Jun 30, 2007 7:05 am

Thanks Fishin Fool, Karen is packing a little too much weight physically and had the heaviest pack too, she said around 32 lbs. but I thought otherwise when I carried it the short distance to camp and at that time it had no water, add the 3-4 liters or water she carries and I thought she would of had at least 45 lbs. Her pack was heavy. Maria had heard from another member of another forum we all belong to and a good friend of hers that it would be a tough hike going in. I didn't study my map enough, thinking it would be a flat hike around a lake. Wrong! Lots of ups and downs, in and out of the trees and sun. I make good time regardless of the trail but didn't want to leave anyone on there own. In past trips with our group, we get sorted out into two or three groups going in, one fast one and at least one group going slower. We all meet up for lunch if it takes that long or meet at our destination. This trip would be great earlier or in the fall but was a good time on this trip if you wanted to hit the water as it was't totally cold.
Piece of cake.
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Postby madeintahoe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:58 am

Duane.....That was very enjoyable to read your report..the pictures are beautiful. I can just imagine how hot it was..but the water looks so cool and refreshing :nod: ..what a nice trip it sounded like....how is Karens foot doing? How did she do that?

Where did you get the burrito in Bridgeport?
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Postby hikerduane » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:03 pm

Good morning Anita,

I'm not too good at writing so I added a few other things I thought of this last week that I had observed to give the report a little more meat. I haven't heard from Karen, either directly or from Maria. Karen was taking some photos at Wapama Falls and hurt her foot when she slipped on a rock. Funny sort of, people were looking at her while she was trying to get up and here she is rolling around trying to get up.

The water felt great, as is the case in the Sierra, the getting all the way in part is hard sometimes.

I stopped at the Burger Barn next to the bank in Bridgeport, where I pull around to the back and park in the banks parking lot. Very nice blonde lady took my order. They were busy so I had to wait 15 minutes or so, not sure, but the thing was huge. I could have used some sour cream on it as an extra but I passed and that would have made it heavenly. You get your choice of one sauce, the sc would only have been another .50. I had a hankering for a burrito that day and was disappointed that I didn't see one on the menu board, then the couple ahead of me moved and I spotted the sign for the different burritos. I had the steak fahita (sp).

How is the burned smell doing up at the lake? From the story in the paper, people were hitting the beaches still and doing the tourist thing which is good. I don't know how it will affect this weekend and the summer business in general.

Thanks for your kind words,
Duane
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