Weather forecast for Yosemite Valley still bad so the Hetch Hetchy plan was a on. The morning weather was good though and as we had to drive in & out of the valley to get to Hetch Hetchy we stopped at the various scenic points which we failed to get photos from yesterday. Although Hetch Hetchy is within Yosemite National Park you have to drive out & in again to get there. As the pay station was closed when we came in on Sunday we stopped in the way out & they said it would be easiest to just pay entry at the quieter Hetch Hetchy entrance. Just before we got there there was a golden eagle sat at at the side of the road!!! Sadly the road was too twisty to stop, & the eagle flew off anyway as we rounded the next corner.
We paid out entry, got lots of park info (which would have been quite good yesterday!) & made out way to the day car park. We took a brief detour back up the road to the facilities and on the way met a park ranger who told us a bear had been seen that morning on
the hillside there. So of course we walked the rest of the way with our eyes roving the hill instead of the road! We then set out over the O'Saughnessy Dam, through a tunnel and headed around Hetch Hetchy Reservoir towards Wapama Falls. The walk there was lovely, we passed through dry grassland, woodland and wet grassland but also had our first encounter with poison oak. Although thankfully we spotted it before touching it, this led to today's amusing quote "Now I'm scared of all the plants!". We passed a couple of smaller falls on the way, one of which has the lovely name Tueeulala Falls, then got to Wapama Falls which is now one of my favourite falls ever! Mostly because of the awesome boardwalks at the base which take you through the spray!
The sky was threatening rain on our walk back but we made it to the car still dry. As it was still fairly early we decided to stop on the wat back to visit Carlon Falls. The trailhead starts outside the national park in the Stanislaus National Forest but soon enters Yosemite National Park by a small gate. The trail follows the south fork of
the Tuolumne River and part of the trail had been washed away in a previous storm but we followed the track left by other walkers around the missing section. We got to the cascades of Carlon Falls but the trail was again washed out right to the base so we found some comfortable looking rocks with a nice view of the fall and ate the cinnamon bun we'd bought yesterday. Disappointedly it was waaaay past it's sell by date and tasted rather stale, bleugh!
We stopped on the way back for supper in Half Dome Village again, this time getting food from the Pavilion. Cafeteria-style but not overly pricey (given the limited options it easily could be) & actually very tasty, especially after a day of walking. After supper we got some hot chocolate to take-away and drove to Valley View to drink it. We again stopped at Valley View for the atmostphericly cloudy vista.
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