The first night was spent in the backpackers camp near Tuolumne River. The plan was to pack up the 3.5 miles to Lower Cathedral Lake and set up our remote camp there for two nights. It didn't sound too ambitious to us at the time....
Peter, Laura, Rona, and Dave getting it together the first morning.
Once we got to the trailhead, we had to reload our packs using the bear canisters we rented at the ranger's station. Bears are a big problem throughout Yosemite, and hanging packs from the trees doesn't seem to work anymore.
Geared up and ready to go at last!
The first part of the trail was very steep and rocky, and made for slow going. As you can see, we were delighted nonetheless to be on the trail.
We took a couple of breaks along the way, once for a breather and once for lunch. The altitude change was about 1100 feet along the trail, starting at 8500 feet above sea level, so we were all huffing and puffing a bit more than we were used to.
This is one of the many domes we saw along the way.
We were so overjoyed when we finally made it to the lake, we took off our packs and rested a while by the waterside. That's Cathedral Peak in the background. I must have taken about 100 pictures of it, since it looked different from every angle.
Lower Cathedral Lake was beautiful, and the weather was warm but not hot.
After setting up camp, Laura and I went for a swim by the west shore. The water was cold and refreshing, and Dave followed our lead a bit later.
Laura relaxes on the granite above our campsite.
Cooking dinner the first night in the wilderness. A big black bear came by to check us out after sunset, but he wasn't too difficult to scare away. I couldn't even get close enough to snap a decent picture. (Shoot!)
Sunset on Cathedral Peak.
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