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Foreword | California! | Santa Cruz | Monterey | San Luis Obispo | Hollywood | Santa Monica | Long Beach | San Pedro | Yosemite Bound | Yosemite | Yosemite Falls | Vernal Falls | Snow Shoeing | Snow Boarding | San Francisco | Alcatraz | Last Day In Frisco



I rose extremely early for the YARTS bus; it was still very cold outside and dark when I went to stand out there for the bus. I stood there, the bus didn't arrive on time. I waited longer still, and it didn't come. I watched longingly as cars passed, wishing I was in one of them on my way to Yosemite Valley. Finally the bus arrived, considerably later than expected; this was due to foul weather and the fact that it had chains on - already! The road was icey and it was too early for the gritters (if, indeed, there were any). Away we trundled, the chains making a clanging noise as we went. Speed was slow, and as the time went by I was gradually losing hope of catching that 8.30am bus.

Then, just as I though we might make it, disaster struck! A chain broke and we had to pull over, it was lost somewhere way back up the road so a spare one had to be fitted. This was it, there was no chance of catching that 8.30am bus now, my hopes of snowboarding today were dashed. When we finally arrived in Yosemite Valley I tried my best to get to that lesson but there was no way, I pulled myself together and went to Badger Pass anyway, perhaps there was something else I could do up there for the remainder of the day.

And there was: snowshoeing! I hired a pair for the day and took to the snow-covered hills along the snowshoe trail. This really was a winter wonderland! Singing: "Hey, can ya hear me, hey, something or other; a something something, something something, walking in a winter wonderland!"

Silence in the Snow

The silence of the place was breath-taking, the only sound was the occasional creaking of tree branches weighed down with snow. It was cold though, I wasn't hiking up mountain sides so wasn't generating the same heat as before, the snowshoes weren't exactly easy to manage either - they required big steps and careful placement with each one to get a good grip in the snow. Sometimes the snow was too deep and my feet went down a foot or so into it!

SnowmanUp on the top of a hillock I found myself at a clearing, and quite lost. I knew the way I had come, but I wanted to go around in a loop; it was so easy to get confused with trees all around, each direction looking the same. A couple of passing snowboarders gave me directions, and with the exception of a couple of cross-country skiers they were the only people I saw up in the trees that day.

Presently the weather began to turn bad again, and cold, so I made my way back to the main challet complex and waited for my bus back down to Yosemite Valley, then on to the hostel.

Badger Pass ski resort

Back in the hostel I put my feet up next to the warm stove, ready for another day in Yosemite; this time I hoped to get a chance to snowboard. I decided it was to be my last day in Yosemite so that night I packed up all my stuff, ready for the off early next morning.