It’s the freakin weekend in Yosemite National Park, one of the most visited places in the country. All the amateur tourons and hardcore, weekend bar-b-quers have come out in full force. Camp 4 is just as much these folks as climbers. the streets are a little more precarious for bike and foot traffic, and the random asinine comments are being shouted amuck. Here are a few observations and tips I have thought of while spending a week in Yosemite.
1. Do not be surprised by the actions or comments of anyone. There is no telling what can happen with this many people, from so many places in one small area.
2. While running, climbing, biking or swimming in the park expect asinine comments such as: “Is it cold?” after splashing water from a glacier fed waterfall on one’s face, “Show off!” while running up the Yosemite Falls trail, “Biker, biker, biker, keep on biking.” while riding pass a group of kids. And one of my favorites that I have not heard here at Yosemite but have heard stories about; “How did those ropes get up there?” to which my friend replied, “The park service comes by every morning and puts them up.”
3. Be polite while running on trails and especially bombing big descents such as Yosemite Falls trail. Smart remarks and touron traffic jams are common. Kindness goes a long ways and most people will look at you funny for running up mountains. This is America, no one runs! They might if being chased by a bear, mountain lion or intruder but will probably just shoot the predator since most folks also have guns. More insight on running in National Parks can be read here: http://thatdakotajones.blogspot.com/2012/04/guide-to-national-parks.html
4. Always take the opportunity to rinse ones face and head with cold, mountain water. This applies everywhere. The feeling is so invigorating and chances are you need any bathing you can get.
5. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of amazing hiking, running and climbing that can be had at Yosemite. One could spend a lifetime here and not do it all so don’t expect to scratch it surface much in a short trip. If you’re tired or not feeling it, enjoy the slower activities of lounging in a hammock, at camp shooting the breeze and taking a dip down by the river.
6. On a note from number 5, I believe Americans have achieved a pinnacle in lounging or chillin. Yesterday, I saw a couple floating down the Merced River in a two seater, recliner/lounger tube with cooler built into the middle of the seats. They appeared to be half asleep or a deep state of chillin as they floated into a log jam with the slightest concern on their faces.
7. Expect sudden actions and lack of awareness by tourons as you are doing anything. Don’t be shy in shouting to alert them of your presence. However this usually invokes sudden actions so be ready. I’m surprised more people do not get hurt as they are absorbed in their camera and oblivious to bikes, cars, wildlife, runners, etc.
Let me know if you any observations of your own.