Winter hit suddenly in Yosemite. It seemed like one moment I was hanging out on the porch in the sunshine reading through JP's thesis, and the next in my down jacket huddled in front of the pellet stove. 80 degrees and sunny to cold and snowing in only a few days. Tom has taught me the French phrase for “It's cold around here,” (Il fait froid en ce pays!) and I've been getting a lot of practice using it.
We did have a spectacular autumn season. Nothing to rival the displays out East, but beautiful yellows and pinks nonetheless. We took an excellent hike up from Wauwona Tunnel past the scenic points along the rim of the Valley, the points being Inspiration, Old Inspiration, Stanford, Crocker, Dewey, and Taft. Between the stunning vistas of the valley we hiked through several small meadows full of autumn color. Then we met our friend Mike at Taft just as the sun was setting and he was nice enough to give us a ride back to our car.We've been skiing twice already this season! We got enough snow Sunday night to break out our XC ski gear (Tom borrowed some from HF) and head up a flat fire road for some exercise with winter wonderland scenery. Skiing up an ungroomed trail is easier than I remember it, and I felt really comfortable on my skis from day one. I guess that is a tribute to the amount of time Tom and I spent skiing last year in VT. The sun came out I'm looking forward the rest of ski season!
Our primary objective is to get skate skiing equipment. Only a few minutes from our house, Badger Pass Road is closed for the winter months, and is groomed from Badger Pass Ski Area 17 miles to Glacier Point. We drove up to Truckee for the annual ski swap through treacherous driving conditions only to be disappointed with the XC selection. Tom managed to find some top-of-the-line Salomon boots and some old skis, but needs compatible bindings. I couldn't find anything that fit. The best part about the trip to Truckee was the chance to see our friends TK and CH. It was a great chance to catch up and to ooo and aaah at their beautiful house. TK made me jump about half a zillion times between the noise-activated spider that drops down on you, to the skeletal hand that talks. Same old guy. It was a fun visit.
After a few days of melting, Tom and I ventured down into the Valley to try some bouldering. There was a lot more snow on the ground on the Valley floor than I would have guessed based on what we got up here. The bouldering was a little chilly, but nice, and we got to see a bear walk by just before the full moon rose hazy and bright right over half dome. It was a good day.