Yosemite September 19

My legs aren't going to let me forget about Half Dome so easy. I let out a cry as I get up to go to the bathroom. My legs have never felt this painful for this long. I load up on Ibuprofen. The hot shower is comforting. I go to Carl's Jr. for breakfast, limping on my way in and out. I had planned to go hiking in Mariposa Grove, where a grove of giant sequoia trees live. I decide to drive up and see what I'll be able to do.

On the way, I see a sign for horseback riding on trails in Mariposa Grove. Hah! perfect! I can let the horse do the walking, and still enjoy being in the woods. I pull in and find that it's $35 per person for one hour on the horse in the woods, on a loop trail. The next ride doesn't go for an hour and a half, so I'm invited to make myself at home at a picnic table on the ranch. People live here, and I'm basically sitting in their front yard. I have my book "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck to keep me occupied. In the meantime, the sun warms me through the tall trees in the yard, and the sounds of a working ranch carry on.

The stand where you sign up to ride. The horses are inside the corral behind the building.

Me and one of the horses. I'm trying not to show my limp.

Me on a horse in the middle of a stream (horse is drinking) in the woods. This was so relaxing, and fun. I'm so glad I found this ranch.

The view from horseback in the stream. I was right behind the lead horse. The tour was led by a girl named Dawn. By the way, I did get more disposable cameras-- with flashes now, but they still aren't the best pics.

My horse's head, Dawn's horse rubbing on the tree. Dawn was checking all of our harnesses at this point. My horse was a bit of a tailgater. She kept nudging the butt of the horse ahead when that horse would slow or stop.

After the horseback riding, I went farther into Mariposa Grove to see the sequoia.

These trees are enormous! I hobble around the ones near the parking lot. Then I catch site of a tram tour for the elderly, disabled, and people with small children. YES! I hobble over to the ticket booth, and get a ticket for the next tram.

Here I am on the tram. It was really nice because it followed along a paved route that was fairly parallel with the hiking path. It went back to all the named trees, and there were headphones that played peaceful music and narrated the tour with history. I really enjoyed this.

One of the big trees that fell. Their roots are not all that deep.

Two trees joined as one at the base.

Me in front of the oldest known tree in the grove. It's named the "Grisley." The tram made a stop here for us to get out and see some of the trees close up, and visit a small gift shop at this end of the park-- that didn't even have electricity! They were trying to go for that colonial type feel.

At this point it was getting late enough in the day that I knew I had better head up to my campground. I had to go up to Rt. 120 again, but I couldn't stay at White Wolf, they closed for the season the day before. I was able to get a nice spot at a cool campground called "Porcupine Flat." This place has some great campsites, and most are very private.

My site at the Porcupine Flat Campground. This is a huge campsite. Notice the brown box in front of the car, there was one at the other campground too. That would be the bear box, where you are supposed to put all foods and personal items that have odor (like deoderant). This night wasn't quite as cold as the other; however, I also made some extra provisions by buying a warm blanket to put in my sleeping bag, sleeping on one of the seats laid flat, and running the heat in the car to get it warm, then shut it off. It was a good camp night.