Yosemite and Pale Ale

We had an absolutely amazing hike in Yosemite. We pushed really hard and made it to beautiful, mosquito-infested Tiltill Valley. the falls were full, as well. Wapoma Falls soaked us, as the trail goes right through it, and it was a most welcome reprieve from the heat. Cxjo has a fancy wrist gadget that recorded our GPS position every few seconds. So if you take this file and load it into Google Earth, you can see a near complete profile of our hike. It lost the satellites above Rancheria Falls in the ravine, so it shows us walking through a bog, rather than around it!

There were lots and lots of bees. Bumbles, carpenters, masons, ones I don't know the names of. I totally had what my wife calls a "bee-gasm". And like last year, there were bee researchers on the trail taking a survey of the park's bees and wasps. It made me wish I had had better luck with my osmia this year.

I should also mention that the butterfly were beautiful, too. We saw a zebra, several monarch-like species, and lots of others that I'd be hard-pressed to identify without a field guide.

We didn't see any bears, but we heard them. The ranger said that a 250-lbs was in the vicinity, doing "natural" things. We saw the trees he had stripped and we heard him growl and bang rocks around, but that was all. Apparently, he didn't want our rice and jaipur vegetable dinner (not that he could have gotten it through the bear canister).

Pale Ale:
Even though we were exhausted, we rallied and bottled the pale ale last night. It was definitely done fermenting. We dry-hopped over the weekend, and it really made the beer flavourful and aromatic. It's very cloudy, and rustic, but even without the fizz (it'll get that as it bottle conditions), it already tastes better than a Sierra! This is looking like it will be our second- or first-best beer (The hemp ale of yore currently holds the top slot). It is tentatively called the Clarion Ale (after my summer writers' workshop), but I'm thinking the Black Bear Ale would also be apropos.


At 6/14/06, 3:21 AM, Blogger Michael Stone said...

Sounds amazing, Vince. I'm jealous! It's too easy for us Brits to forget the scale of California. The US we see on our TV screens is, more often than not, the urban areas, the cities. Which is a bit like seeing only the bubbles in the bath and not the water.

I read a book recently by Bill Bryson called 'A Walk in the Woods', which chronicled his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail. It brought home to me how little I know about the States.

In Britain, I'd say the closest we have to the grandeur of Yosemite is the West Highlands of Scotland, but as that's over 300 miles away from where I live it's hardly something to contemplate for a daytrip. Wales is similar but the mountains aren't as high or the lakes as deep.


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