TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

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sambieni
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TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by sambieni » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:37 am

Thank you all for prior first time backpacker advice for my 8 year old. I realize this is such a beginner backpack trip report, but may be helpful for those w/ young ones in same situation.

We just returned from an excellent daddy-daughter bonding time hitting Tuolomne Meadows and May Lake. Fires, of course, were bit of a headache.

Sunday 9/6
I checked CalFire Friday evening around 6 pm and knew of most fires across Southern Sierras, etc. I expected some cloud/haze in Lone Pine area, but not much beyond. Ooops. When we drove up Owens Valley, the haze and dark just never ceased. By Bishop area I realized something was up. CLouds were dark, brownish red and getting worse. It was then I discovered Creek Fire and its impact. Lesson learned, fires can erupt faster and more violent than I realized.

We entered Yosemite mid-day and wandered around Tuolomne Meadows few hires observing all the cars covered in ash. My breathing was bit rough from the air. My daughter remained in crazy good spirits. Were it me, we would have just gone back home another 5 hours. She was so determined, but conscious of us potentially bailing anyway. I followed her lead a bit after conferring w Park Rangers about potential wind shift and so forth. TM Backpackers CG was FAR more desolate than my trip month before; clearly most folks bailed over holiday weekend. My sleep confirmed bit of how rough it was w some coughing during the night from the ash

Monday 9/7 - Tuesday 9/8
We woke to far bluer skies w slight grey and thankfully my throat cleared up after some morning hydration. We took our time as I observed breezes and conferred w more Rangers. Realizing the trek was only 1 1/4 miles, I figured we'd be fine air-wise and worse case, we would hike up, get lunch, and turn around. I could carry my kid's 10 lbs pack if she really needed me to on return.

Glad we went for it. Weather was good and clear enough for our 2 days w fewer fire worries. My daughter was excellent spirits nearly entire time and taking far more personal risks, independent decisions and challenges to herself in a healthy way - the aim of my trip. She was awesome helping organize our campsite and take it down and more. She loved May Lake and sitting beside it for afternoon reading and card playing.

She did arrive a bit tired to May Lake complaining about her back. And her energy levels were zapped and she got cranky and I realized she had not peed in hours. It was sooooo dry, drier than I ever remembered it. So I worked w/ her on some salt and water intake and it really helped her quickly rebound after 15 minutes of dad nerves taking hold. I also learned as she started unpacking her bag, I had tossed an extra liter of water into her pack by accident and forgot... Extra 2.5 lbs definitely slowed her and pushed her over ~10 pounds, which was rough limit of 15% her body weight. Oooops, stupid dad moment. We had a good laugh. ](*,) :lol:

We did originally envision continuing to Raisin Lake, but given the air quality I felt wise just to do the short hike and stay closer to car bailout option just 40 minutes or so down path. Plus, I was forewarned lake water was slightly compromised by ash and likely worse for Raisin Lake. Thankfully the ash in May Lake settled when we got there and filling water was not the problem I anticipated w/ our filter.

Overall, we had a great time. The only thing that mostly sucked was just how private and unfriendly campers around us were, yet also very self absorbed and loud. Drinking wine and talking super loudly all afternoon into the night not realizing their voices carry so far, plus playing music on some sort of radio much the afternoon. Not what you want from area backpackers. Was not seeking friendship, just cordial hello and then reasonable quiet and respect for the wilderness. Most of the campers around us just did not get this concept and really only into their own experience. Such a disappointment. Did not ruin our sleep too much and honestly was a helpful lesson to my daughter of how NOT to backpack and experience the wilderness.

Overall, daughter loved the trip and was so excited see all the chipmunks and the like and we even saw a gorgeous, large and healthy coyote run across us just 10 yards in front of us on our trip down the next morning back to the car. Sadly, she didn't see a marmot, her dream. But she's ready for next time. Mission accomplished. :rock:
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Last edited by sambieni on Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:43 am, edited 2 times in total.








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rlown
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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by rlown » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:52 am

Nicely done!

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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by balzaccom » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:07 am

What a great report....and it sounds as if you had your priorities absolutely straight. Most importantly, sounds like she's ready for another trip!

Marmots, if you want them, are easy to see above May Lake on the trail to Mt. Hoffman...which could be a plan for your next adventure.
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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by sambieni » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:46 am

balzaccom wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:07 am
What a great report....and it sounds as if you had your priorities absolutely straight. Most importantly, sounds like she's ready for another trip!

Marmots, if you want them, are easy to see above May Lake on the trail to Mt. Hoffman...which could be a plan for your next adventure.
Thanks - I had a hunch this was the case. We were gonna take bit of the route to Hoffman for views and come back to camp. But she was so happy just being near the lake and reading; just happy to let her take lead to find her happy place so I never bothered. Will remember next time because this is such an awesome intro to backpacking spot.

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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by mort » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:35 pm

Sure sounds like a nice trip, I hope you get many more.
I'm sure lots of people know where there are lots of marmots, I have a few stories too.
If just want to see marmots, and you're already in Tuolumne Meadows take a break at Olmsted Point. Because lots of people are silly, the marmots can get food there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyyEgoC ... ttachment]
stock photo at Olmsted Point.
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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by jlweinberger » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:27 pm

Great report! Glad to hear you and your daughter had so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by maverick » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:36 pm

Sadly, she didn't see a marmot, her dream. But she's ready for next time.
Marmots were in their dens with there N95's on. :)
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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by giantbrookie » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:19 pm

Mission accomplished--she's ready for another trip. Glad the trip was successful during a difficult time. Best wishes for many future trips with your daughter.
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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by kpeter » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:37 pm

That is great for an 8 year old! That pack looks as big as she is! How terrific you could get out and do a trip despite Armageddon. Doesn't it restore your faith in the endless optimism and resilience of children?

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Re: TR: Yosemite / May Lake 9/6 - 9/8

Post by The Other Tom » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:30 am

kpeter wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:37 pm
That is great for an 8 year old! That pack looks as big as she is! How terrific you could get out and do a trip despite Armageddon. Doesn't it restore your faith in the endless optimism and resilience of children?
Well said, Kpeter!

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