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TR- TM to the valley

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TR- TM to the valley

Postby sparky » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:36 pm

I had a great time. Up Rafferty Creek, over Vogelsang, down Lewis Creek, up and back down Florence Creek, on down to the Merced, and followed that into the Valley. I forgot a bunch of things on the journey. Hiking shoes, camera, and bug juice were the important things. Luckily mosquitos werent bad, and my cell phone could document some photos. I didn't see anyone until Merced Lake so the solitude was satisfying.

Right before I left at the picnic tables at the TM grill, a PCT hiker was telling the story about how the night before, a bear had ripped open his tent and taken his pack which contained his food. He then claimed he charged the bear, and the bear in turn knocked him over and held him down, but didnt attack. He then got up, got his pack, and tried to start a fire, and the bear hung out until first light, where he subsequently bailed to TM. I wondered if the tale was true or not.

The hike up to Tuolomne Pass and Vogelsang Pass is nice.

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I was wishing I had planned to hike the upper sections of Lewis Creek. I didn't want to change plans mid trip with any off trail exploring. I had planned to go up Florence Creek, and perhaps to Florence Peak. It seemed like it would have a nice view.

The scramble up Florance Creek was really easy and fun, and the small lakelets above were scenic.

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I got to Florence Lake, and it was OK but nothing special.

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The lake above is supposed to be much better, but the way up was steep talus and I didn't think the Vans I was wearing would be very comfortable for the ride up and down it. Plus I was going to have to cross snow and again getting my shoes wet seemed like a horrible idea. I was already developing a blister and the duct tape wasnt helping. In other words, I psyched my way out of it. The scattered, whispy clouds that were clumping up also helped seal the deal

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I crossed the outlet of Florence lake several times as I debated internally on going up or not. When I decided to bail, and head back down to Lewis Creek, I remembered that the crossing down below was a ford requiering shoes. I cursed myself and crossed the outlet one more time (without shoes) and descended the west side of the creek. This way is more difficult, but still relatively easy. Definitely use the east side of the creek to get into the Florence Creek drainage. Most of it even though it is off trail is simply walking up slabs. A splash of super easy class 3 moves here and there that could probably be bypassed in a couple of steep gullys that are east of the creek. This would be a good area for those wanting an "easy" off trail excursion.

I got back to the trail in Lewis Creek, and hiked on down to the chaos of the valley. The whole time the clouds were fantastic, but I wasnt able to photograph them well. Clouds that were clumping, lowering, and darkening was at my heels for two days. I never saw a drop of rain though, and it provided nice entertainment and shade. A perfect breeze was present most of the time too.

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It is so funny to walk from the wilderness into a store. It is a little overwhealming! All those prepackaged treats and drinks and flashing things. And people everywhere.

After grabbing some treats from the store, I headed to the payphones because my cell phone was now dead. I had my wallet out getting phone numbers and making calls. I had to check in, and then set up a ride with some friends back to my car in TM. In doing that somewhere I lost my wallet, probably in front of the Curry Village front desk. I didn't realize it was gone until I arrived at backpackers camp. I suddenly realized I had no money, no ID, and my ride was up in the air. I might have been walking back to TM or waiting for the saturday shuttle. Without money or ID, neither of those options were viable. In other words, I was SCREWED!

After running around the valley talking to different people for a couple hours, I went back to Curry Village and tada my wallet miraculously appears. I think it had most of the money left, but I didnt really care, I was just glad to have my ID and credit cards and phone numbers and whatnot.

Then, as I was sitting alone in backpackers camp feeling good, by the magic of the valley, a way to give back my good fortune soon presented itself. I jumped at the chance, and in doing so I put my own friends out a little, people who were there to help me out. Fortunately they understand this cosmic wheel, and all was good across the land.

It is a trip to think about how we enter a total strangers life for a brief moment, and become a part of each others lore forever.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.



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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby Mike M. » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:34 pm

Then, as I was sitting alone in backpackers camp feeling good, by the magic of the valley, a way to give back my good fortune soon presented itself. I jumped at the chance, and in doing so I put my own friends out a little, people who were there to help me out.

OK Sparky, I'll bite: can you expound on this?

Mike
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby justm » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:32 pm

really great photos !! Nice trip ! Thanks for sharing
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:06 pm

That tree is amazing!!!! Great shot!!! Reminds me a little of the old Disney cartoon "Flowers and Trees" from the 30s - or a really cool (but mean) prehistoric reptile.
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby sparky » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:54 am

It does! haha. I was thinking evil medusa tree sorceress. Even has arm raised as if casting spells on merced lake and half dome :eek:
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby sekihiker » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:14 am

sparky wrote: my wallet miraculously appears

A couple of weeks ago I was getting ready to leave the remote upper Rancheria trailhead. I had put some of my gear in the car but when I tried to open the car door again, it was locked. Instant panic washed over me. I looked inside to see where the keys were but couldn't see them. The panic intensified. As I was walking around the car looking for a nice rock to break a window, I spied the keys sitting on the trunk of the car. I literally jumped and shouted with joy. From the lows come the highs.

Loved your photos and report.
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:19 am

Interesting about the bear story. On 6/16 I heard a story from a PCT through hiker about a very aggressive bear in the area. I wouldn't discount all of that guy's story if the guy I heard wasn't 100% full of crap.
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby markskor » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:39 am

Also met/partied with the same "bear story" guy (a PCT hiker) in Tuolumne the next day (out on the picnic tables drinking beer)...He borrowed my duct tape to fix his bear-torn Ty-vac tarp. BTW, his oft-repeated story about this incident never included anything about being held down - just about the bear coming after midnight and tearing his tent while camped at the Ireland junction off the Lyle - his pack being taken - his starting a fire on sticks to chase it off - the bear hanging around all night - and subsequent pack recovery.

Nice TR though.
BTW, camped at that exact same place shown at Lower Florence - Nice!
We (Mike and I) had good luck fishing there and also did Upper Florence too.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby Ska-T » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:21 am

Nice trip, Sparky! Are Vans good for smearing? I don't know about your excuse for forgetfulness, but I chock mine up to senile dementia.

A couple of weeks ago I re-explored the Humphreys Basin out of Bishop. After driving up from behind the Orange Curtain to the Forks Campground, I realized at 7:30 pm that I left my sleeping bag, pad, and ground cloth on the sofa at home. My buddy and I drove down to the Kmart in Bishop where I was able to find a plastic drop cloth I could cut to size, but the sleeping bag and pad choices were miserable. The kind salesgirl there suggested Wilson's Eastside Sports in downtown Bishop across from the movie theater. Wilson's had top of the line equipment but I wasn't keen on buying another $400 Western Mountaineering bag. The trip was saved when they suggested renting a (synthetic) bag and pad. Price was very reasonable. I also needed to "borrow" a plastic spoon from one of my camping neighbors.

What did the thru hiker expect from sleeping in Yosemite next to his food?

-Scott (OC, CA)
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:23 am

Ska-T wrote:After driving up from behind the Orange Curtain....
-Scott (OC, CA)


That's funny!
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:42 pm

Making a list and checking it twice..... I would never, ever remember everything without a checklist, I circle the last minute stuff that can't be packed until just before leaving so it stands out. And tape it to the front door. Everything gets crossed off. And that is the total of my organizational skills.
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Re: TR- TM to the valley

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:57 pm

jessegooddog wrote: And tape it to the front door.


That is too funny. I do the same thing. Sometimes I even tape a list to the steering wheel of my truck. :)

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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