A Return to Dewey Point and Beyond

13 August 2013 in Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling, Yosemite National Park

 
Dewey Point Road, Glacier Point RoadOur last trip to Dewey Point had been a miserable, near death experience. We started that hike after having already logged eight miles, when we were almost to the point—four miles in—the clouds and fog rolled in and prevented us from seeing anything, then it began to rain and then hail and then thunder and lightning. We had to literally run four miles back to the truck, sprinting at times where we were the tallest point—and therefore the lightning rod in a large open meadow.

Today the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in the sky. And so on hopeful, fresh legs we once again stepped off of Glacier Point Road and onto the trail. The path sloped down, through the woods and led to a beautiful meadow—the site of our sheer, exposed terror on the previous occasion. Then we headed back into the woods and up and down a long series of rolling hills, crossing streams here and there upon logs and rocks. It was another wonderful day in the woods. The birds were chirping and the chipmunks chased each other up and down the trees and all through the bushes.

The trail was familiar, but different. It was a warm welcoming place to be rather than infused with threat and doom. The hike, while four miles one way, was easy and pleasant. And soon we saw the break in the trees where we had been forced to turn back before. But there was nothing but blue sky today as we approached the rim of Yosemite Valley from yet another breathtaking viewpoint. Dewey Point was littered with a small cluster of hikers, but nothing compared to the more well worn—and easier to access—Taft Point.

Crocker PointI climbed out onto the very tip and took in the bird’s eye view. It was stunning sitting so high above. The road a pencil thin line, the cars upon it almost indistinguishable except for when the sun hit them just right. After a little prodding I had Lindsay out there as well—though she stopped just shy of my high perch. And it was from here that we ate our lunch.

I had forgotten the leftover pesto we had meant to pack and so along the way we made a small side trip to Yosemite Village where we proceeded to quickly peruse the isles for the cheapest, overpriced lunch we could piece together. We had settled on a five layer taco dip and a 10-pack of corn tortillas. A lunch we thought worthy of the five dollars we had to shell out. As we eagerly cracked the lid and made wraps we were sadly disappointed. It tasted like Taco Bell without the much needed assistance of hot sauce. A whole lot of sour cream, bland and overly—and unnecessarily—processed guacamole, flavorless refried beans, mild salsa—otherwise known as ketchup, and maybe, MAYBE seven shreds of cheese.

After a disappointing lunch we proceeded to the next lookout point – Crocker Point. This lifted our spirits enough to make us forget all about our dip-laden bellies. While Dewey provided an amazing view, Crocker added Bridalveil Falls to the picture—from above. Having never seen the falls from anywhere outside of the valley we gained a new understanding of the shape of the valley and the makeup of the monoliths of rock surrounding this particular falls. It was simply unforgettable. Maybe one of my favorite views along the Pohono Trail.

Stanford Point, Glacier Point Road, Yosemite National ParkThe last point we’d visit today was Stanford Point. We almost ended up walking right past it. I assume visitation to this point is very limited because the paths to the point were numerous and faint. As though a few people had just wandered towards the rim at this particular spot, but there, out on the precipice was a sign letting us know we were in the right spot. Stanford had a very tough set of acts to follow and because of this it fell a little short. When you’ve spent the day taking in unbelievable views there’s not much another unbelievable view can do for you. I guess we’re jaded already! All kidding aside it’s worth an extra mile of trail, but in my opinion Crocker is the best of the trio.

On our way back two interesting things happened. We paused at the tiny creek that cut through the large meadow and a beetle landed on my shirt. While gently attempting to remove it I accidentally knocked it into a creek where in less than a split second the small fish in the creek that we had been watching nipped it from the surface and returned to swimming in place.

And the second was a trip to the base of Bridalveil Falls. After spending the day nearly alone in the woods and taking this natural wonder in from above we decided to take a quick peek at the base. This was a major mistake. The walk of 1000 feet was a welcome invitation to every auto-tourist—someone who sees the park through windshields and windows, from pull offs and parking lots or anyplace where a short hike will not separate them too much from their phone, their diet coke and their climate control. It was unbearable. While I’m happy people come to see the park and support it they are missing out on any real experience by seeing it this way. They might as well have been standing at a manmade waterfall in Six Flags. Oh well more trail for us.

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