I just noticed that I haven't posted my journal in many days. Well here it is. If you don't want to read it all skip down to the last one and read it because that was a very eventful day.
Day 7 4/30
Today was my first whole day on my own, it was extra hard to get up into the chilly morning and a low energy day. I started volunteering for the park by exploring trails and reporting on the amount of snow and fallen trees. I hiked out to Moro dome and realized that that shear grannie pinnacle that I had photographed repeatedly from the foothills was actually climbable. I took the over 400 stairs and had an amazing view from the top. I could see much of the extremely windy road, the great divide, and got a look at some cliffs that I had looked at from below and was now looking at from above. All in all a great hike and view and I plan on returning with the evening light some other day. I then ate a late lunch, read, napped, and then went snowshoeing along the river by camp making pictures of the river and area. All in all a great day that ended with a few hours spent organizing and editing photos, of which I still need to do a lot more, and chilling out with a large group of mountaineers at their fire.
Day 8 5/1
May is here and still there is feet of snow. I did more trail exploration following a trail through giants forest that was 98% covered by 2-5 feet os snow. it was a great hike and I saw many amazing trees most with lots of burn scars. One of them was totally burned out in the center and I was able to go inside a room larger then my chaletiny at home, 8x8. I then hiked back, watched a 20 minute video about bears in the visitor center, ate lunch, and came to the lodge to try and catch up at least a little on my photo organizing and editing. I have decided that it is futile to try and keep up and am now only trying to maintain a few days lag.
Day 9 5/2
Today I took a few hikes. First I hiked up the river by camp to a waterfall. It was a hard hike because of all the snow but was worth it in the end because I was able to climb this huge snowfield on top of snow that was at minimum taller than me. I had lots of fun and was very exhausted when I got back to camp. Then after only a short break I went back to Moro rock but this time right at sunset. I took a detour to see the tunnel tree which when the road is open you can drive under. I finally finished my hurried walk and climb and had some fun being on the top of a granite knob. I made many photographs taking advantage of the colorful light. I also tried a 360º panorama that I will try to edit up in photoshop one of these days. I finally ended the day making some sunset pictures and one of the stars.
Day 10 5/3
I didn't quite make it to my quota of 100 pictures a day, only 96 un organized, but I was driving much of the day and am very excited about some that I made. Today I moved from the snowy peaks and giant redwoods at 6000 feet to a deep valley in the mountains at 4000 feet. I am now going to camp at Cedar Grove for the next 4 days and try to take advantage of easier hiking due to no snow. It is more dry here but there are many small rivers and one really big one that are very beautiful and fun to photograph. One special occasion I thought it would be cool to try and make a photo looking straight down into one of the creeks so I pulled up my pants and waded in. IT WAS COLD. It is very warm down here compared to the snow I just left but that water was still icy. I managed to stand it long enough to set my camera up on the tripod and then scurried out of the water. I then had to go back in to grab my camera and lets just say it got me shaking. It also made me not want to fall into the big river even more that I already didn't want to. Other then that I stayed up later then I should have because I got so into reading the book my grandma gave my family for christmas.
Day 11 5/4
Today was a somewhat slow day. I slept in very late and then explored around the valley. I food the lodge which is totally closed but I found a nice spot on their porch that has a table in the shade and an electrical outlet, no internet though :(. after editing and organizing photos I returned to camp and took a siesta. I finished one of my photography books, I am wondering if I brought enough reading material, and rested. I took a walk in the evening and discovered that the trails here have yet to be cleaned as I had to navigate many fallen debris. I did finally make it to a meadow and as I approached I saw this black lump in the middle and knew right away that it was a bear. I walked around the meadow and photographed the black bear for awhile then walked back to my car along the road so I could maybe get a ride, not many cars, and it was easier walking. I ate lunch for dinner as I have started doing lately since it is usually dark by then. Now I am off to bed after doing some photo organizing. I am trying to have a bunch of stuff ready to upload when I get internet again.
Day 12 5/5
Today wasn't a real eventful day. I took a hike that was surprisingly steep and climbed many hundreds of feet. I should have expected it having read in the travel guide that there were some nice steep switchbacks, but I glazed over that and was unpleasantly surprised. It ended up being a fine hike although not a whole lot of inspiring thing to photograph. I have noticed that I don't like dry very much and her it is dry, enough for lizards to be abundant, sandy and rocky. I did meet a group doing some trail clearing which was very exciting because the trails were awfully full of debris. I went back to the meadow looking for the black car but didn't find it till I was on my way back to the car. Even then I only saw it briefly though many trees.
Day 13 5/6
Today the morning started out normal. I slept in kinda late, got up did my morning stuff, ate breakfast. Then I wont on the hike I had planed earlier. I started up the trail to misty falls. After walking only a short way, and not seeing much to photograph, I was startled alert by a rattle snakes rattle as I almost ran into it. I don't remember making a conscious thought 'hear rattle back away' but I did back away and thinking back remember hearing a rattle. I then photographed it as it relaxed, crossed the trail, and went off into the brush. It was a terrifying and amazing encounter and I was much more watchful of where I was going after that. But I haven't even gotten going on this hike. after hiking around a mile I got to some marshy land and stopped to make a picture of a squirrel off under the trees. I look to my side and jump as I notice another rattle snake slithering along parallel to the trail only around 5 feet away. I proceeded to watch, and photograph, it as it slowly made its way parallel to the path for 20 feet, or so. I then left it to retrace my steps and investigate an interesting sound I had heard while rattle watching. I didn't find anything special but as I was heading back towards the falls I saw what at first I thought was another snake but was actually a lizard. I had seen and photographed some cool black lizards with blue undersides and some small brown lizards but this one was much bigger, different coloration, and very close. I proceeded to photograph it extensively while passing along warning to the other hikers about all the rattlers. I was very pleased with how the hike had gone so far. I had checked off one more thing on the "want to see" list, rattle snake, leaving only mountain lion which I doubt I will get to see. :( I considered ending the hike early since I had already seen so much and had already spent as much time as the entire hike was supposed to take, 2-3 hours. I decided to keep on and further along was told that there was a bear near the trail ahead. I managed to walk right by the bear without seeing it on my way up. I made it to the falls which were big and cool but not especially impressive with all the other falls I have seen on this trip. On my way back down I did find the bear and got to photographing some before it moved off into the woods. Then my camping neighbors walked up and for one of them it was her first time seeing a bear. After talking for awhile I went off looking for the bear, which had vanished into a marsh. i looked long and hard but didn't find it and gave up and walked down the trail. Low and behold a few minutes later I run into the bear making its way steadily down the trail. It stopped many times at logs to forage and I made many photographs of it. I ended up walking with it for over a mile. most of the time I was following a ways behind but other times it would go a little ways off trail to forage and I would get ahead of it. In those cases It would politely ask me to move as it wanted to use the trail. I would usually walk ahead of it and it would follow behind not following me, although it looked like that, but simply using the same trail in the same direction. In the end It wandered off into a meadow and it was late by then so I sadly left it. In summery, I had an amazing and surprising hike that provided many things. Over 600 photographs. Hours of sorting and editing time ahead, especially since I got 447 pictures of the bear. Both my memory cards full. Tired aching body. 5 hours gone by instead of 2-3. Seeing a rattle snake checked off the list. A very hungry belly, I had planned on eating lunch after the hike since breakfast had been so late and the hike was only going to be a few hours lol. The cancelation of my evening photo walk to the meadow to try and see and photograph the black bear I had earlier. Renewed motivation since there still is more out there to photography. And more that I cant think of right now. All in all a very exciting day!