Two Wheels in, Four Wheels out


Last weekend was an adventure in Tuolumne Meadows (by Yosemite, Ca, for those not around the area).

It started out Thursday night; I saw the midnight showing of the final Harry Potter with a bunch of friends. I then went to work at the usual time on Friday and promptly left at 5pm for a motorcycle ride up to Yosemite. Here it is packed up with tent, sleeping bag, climbing gear and my camel back:


I rode up highway 120, stopping a few times for gas. I then passed a car show at a place I think was called the Hula Grill (or something like that). I am interested in the Factory 5 ’33 roadster, and I’ve been thinking about getting the kit car and making it all electric (maybe next year!), but I haven’t actually seen one in person. Well, I saw one driving down the road a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t count. It turns out there was one at the car show:


It is a pretty neat looking car, but I definitely want one with fenders.

I road up right outside of the park and camped off the side of the road at Hard-and-flat Rd (that’s not the real name, but it sounds like Hard and Flat, and is how I remember the place). Camp was a matter of sleeping on the ground next to my motorcycle, and it was quite nice! I got up early and froze on the ride up to Tuolumne Meadows and went to the campground to look for my friends that I was meeting there: Mikael+Martha (and their baby girl, Sonja), Ranjeet (a new friend — and his two girls), and Mickey+Sarah. I stopped at the wrong “C” parking lot, and it turns out the motorcycle didn’t want to go anymore. Gas was leaking out of the carburetor (which is an easy fix), but worse was some electrical problem: hitting the starter would click a few times and then the bike would power off.

I had some allen wrenches, but I had to borrow a screw driver from a nearby camper. I decided to fix the carb, since I know how to do that. I took it apart, and as I was putting it back together a little needle valve piece literally disappeared before my eyes! I looked for it for two hours or so…but it was no where to be found. So, the bike was dead without that piece, and to tell you the truth, it was dead from the electrical issue too. I decided to leave it there, and pick it up on Monday with my truck — unfortunately causing me to take a vacation day for the adventure.

Saturday afternoon I hiked around; I went to the meadows and Elizabeth Lake, but I had missed my friends who were already climbing (san’s Martha, who was baby sitting).


While I was at the lake, I talked to some tourists who had me take their picture. One of them made a funny comment about my tum-tum: “Hey, that does he have an 8-pack? I’ve only got a keg!”

Martha and I then made a plan to do Teneya peak on Sunday, which got me super excited, since I loved doing that climb with Jason a few years ago. Mikael and the others were graciously going to baby sit. So, we got up early on Sunday and drove out to do it, but then discovered it still had a ton of snow on the buttress. Instead, we decided to do a 5.7 on Lembert dome, which the other guys had done the day before. Once I got to the parking lot I remembered I did it years ago with JR, but no matter — it was fun!


Martha at the start (well, after scrambling up to the start from the base of the dome).

After some apprehension, I ended up leading the first pitch, which was scary since I haven’t lead trad in many years. But it was fun, and I remembered how much I love trad climbing in Yosemite!

Here’s a few pictures of the climb, so I can remember this for next time. Looking down during the second pitch:


Looking up at the rope, following Martha on the second pitch:


And the view of the meadows:


We then met up with the gang for lunch, packed the cars and headed to Bothle Dome (I think that is how it is spelled). We searched around and found some easy climbs for the kids to try. I just soloed it (it was 5.4 or 5.5), which actually worked out great since I could help Ranjeet’s kids do the climb. Self portrait with the iPhone partway up (although, this makes my chest look funny for some reason…oh well!)


I got a little sunburned, and really wind burned, but it was worth it! My chapped lips are almost healed 3 days later.

After the 5.4ish stuff, Ranjeet and I tried a 5.11 top rope. I didn’t do a single move, since it was really really hard, and I’m not a 5.11 crack climber. Ranjeet however pulled about 3/4 of the climb before doing a huge pendulum swing. It was impressive! After the climbing, I got a ride with Ranjeet and his kids back to Cupertino. Jason then saved me and gave me a ride to my house in the hills.

Monday morning, I left in my truck at 6am and by a little after 11’ish, I was loading my bike up:


I couldn’t waste a day off and a day trip in such a beautiful area, so I decided to hike to Cathedral Lake (~12 miles). I did it really fast (about 3 hours), and some of the backpackers I passed on the way in were surprised to see me so soon on the way out. Still, I enjoyed it a lot, despite the speed hike.

Lots of snow out:


and some neat views of Cathedral Peak:


Jason and I are going go climb it…hopefully this summer!

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