Greetings Reader,

Flying into Oakland, California on Monday, June 27th we knew we were in for an adventure!  A bus ride followed by the Amtrak train followed by a car ride from Uber into Yosemite National Park…we knew we were taking our chances by executing our plan.  You see, when we were applying for our permits at the beginning of the year to hike the JMT we were unable to get a permit from Happy Isle to Mt Whitney…but…we did get our permits from Lyell Canyon (across the Yosemite Valley) to Whitney.  We needed to mop up the first 27 miles which we did not have a permit for.

Half Dome ~ Yosemite Valley

We had reserved a campsite for the first two days and on those days we hiked on the many local trails trying to become acclimated to the altitude.  The Mist Trail is a popular trail that will take you up to Vernal Fall…a mere 1,000 foot climb!   At 317 feet this beautiful waterfall pours over the rocky ledges into the Merced River.

Vernal Falls...The Mist Trail ~ Yosemite Valley
Vernal Falls ~ Mist Trail

It was a long first day in the Valley.  We got up at 4:00am so that we could hike down to the Wilderness Station to be first in line so that we could get our permits from Happy Isle to Lyell Canyon…plus we wanted permits to climb Half Dome.  Dragging out our Thermarest pads with our sleeping bags we hiked in the dark…but, we were the first in line!  So we decided to get more sleep and laid down on the ground only to be hastily awaken by a Park Ranger at 7:30am and with a very firm and loud voice…”No sleeping allowed”…that woke us up!  At 8:00am they took our names and told us to return at 10:45am to apply for the permits.  Since we were first in line we got our permits first…Happy Isle to Lyell Canyon along with Half Dome!  YeeHaw!  We were now ready to begin our hike of the John Muir Trail!

Merced River Yosemite Valley
Merced River
Yosemite Valley

Trying to breathe,

Princess Doah



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