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Yosemite!

Saturday

Up early for the bus, with frost on the ground and all over the car, I was taken to the station for 7am; luckily I didn't have to wait long for the bus to arrive. The ride to Yosemite Valley took approximately three hours, and went from the calm flat lands of California into the foot hills and mountains of Yosemite National Park, high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. By the time we entered the mountain pass there was evidence of recent snow showers on rocks, and the boulders by the side of the road became larger and larger. One boulder was so large it had split in two where it had crashed down and stopped, one was across the road itself and had been blasted through to form a small tunnel. I was amazed by all the sights - the huge rocks and sheer mountain sides which towered into the dizzy heights way up above us, their tops shrouded by clouds and mystery. A world of difference from just a few days ago in Santa Monica.

Eventually the bus came into Yosemite Valley and I trotted off to the information centre to find out what I could do on my first day in Yosemite. I discovered that many of the hikes were closed due to the cold weather - ice on the paths was too dangerous. There were two trails which I could manage in a day: the Yosemite Falls and Vernal Falls hikes; there were walks which went around the valley floor but they didn't interest me; I wanted adventure, excitement, and really wild things!

I bought some supplies: energy drink, almond mars bars (I had grown quite fond of these), marathon bars, fruit, and some extra water; unfortunately it was at this point that I lost my new hat and gloves; I put them down at the fruit and veg stall, but when I noticed I didn't have them and went back to look, they'd gone! Nobody in the shop knew where they were so that was that. I had to resort to my backup gloves and go and buy a new woolly hat from the Adventure Shop (not as expensive as I had thought though).

Making use of one of the metal day lockers, I stashed all that I didn't need in the locker, strapped on my hiking boots which I had been lugging around with me all this time, and took to the path towards Yosemite Falls...