In March 2005, we took a weekend trip to Yosemite.  We had intended to fly the plane, but the weather was quite severe in certain areas surrounding Yosemite (but not, strangely, in Yosemite itself), so we ended up driving there at the last minute instead.  Along the way, as we crested a hill on highway 41, the weather abruptly turned cold, and hailstones (yes, hailstones) started pummeling our car.  Anyway, we got there safely, but with some dents in the hood and roof of my relatively new Prius.
    We had a wonderful time there, staying at a hotel the backside of which was this roaring river spotted with boulders the size of Hummers.
    On Sunday morning, on sudden impulse, we decided to hike to the Upper Yosemite Falls, which is 2500 ft rise in about 2.5 miles, and we figured it would be a breeze.  Well.  It was 2.5 miles on switch backs across the face of the mountain, some parts of which included crossing small snow fields, which were melting on the edges.  Later, we learned that sometimes, in the warming spring, these melting snowbanks just .. slip off the mountain, and, if you happen to be walking across it when it does, you’re in for a very quick 2000 ft. descent.
    About 3/4 of the way up, I ran out of energy, will, Vitamin B12, whatever – I just had to rest and, since this had been an impromptu decision, of course we had no provisions.  Rummaging through my fanny pack, I discovered four Ricola’s (those lemony-menthol throat lozenges).  Yay!  We shared them and, amazingly, that little bit of sugar helped us find the will to finish the rest of the hike to the top overlooking the Upper Falls.
    The hike back down was, increasingly, pain incarnate, manifesting itself in our leg muscles and knee joints.  The only pleasant moments of the hike down were our having met and talked at length with a nice German post-graduate student also enjoying Yosemite.
    If I ever do that hike again, it’ll be with more water, several food bars, and even some small amounts of ibuprofen.
Starting out – from the trail below
Along the Upper Falls Trail
Intrepid hikers (with no food & little water)
Glorious scenery
The Lower Falls
Judy on rocks just below Lower Falls
Backdrop from Lower Falls
Judy’s pets
Our destination: Upper Falls
The river behind our hotel (those boulders are huge)
Judy in front of the same river, but closer
A wonderful scene from the Upper Falls Trail
It took 30 mins to reach the bottom of the Upper Falls
Amazing rock face of Upper Falls
Same view as above -- from 1000 ft.
A little snow field to cross
It’s a warm day – with snow
View across the valley from about 1500 ft.
Yay!  Judy and Alan at the top of Yosemite Upper Falls!