Day 1: SETTING UP THE CAR SHUTTLE
After having completed an adventured-filled day at Hetch Hetchy capped off with a steak dinner and a Lakers vs Kings game, it was already around 11pm and we still had to get the car shuttle set up for tomorrow’s one-way Panorama Trail – a mostly downhill 8.5-mile hike starting at Glacier Point and ending at the Happy Isles Trailhead about a mile from Curry Village.
So Andy and I went in his trusty SUV while my parents followed us in the mini van. We didn’t bother taking the only pair of condo keys with us since Julie and Stacey stayed behind.
Before we got back onto Hwy 41, we saw a deer startled by our presence and pranced away. It also startled Andy a little, but nothing came of this little encounter. Mom and Dad followed behind us, but they probably didn’t notice the deer.
Since the afternoon-to-evening thunderstorm was clearing, there was still fog on the road from Yosemite West to Yosemite Valley. High beams were useless since it blinded us more than it helped us look ahead. Thus, we proceeded slowly and let anyone who wanted to pass us do so.
Finally after nearly an hour, we left Andy’s vehicle at the large parking lot in Curry Village. We all hopped into dad’s MPV and headed back up Hwy 41 to Yosemite West.
It was now about 1am when we returned to the Yosemite West complex. When we got to our 2nd story condo, we knocked on the door hopefully without waking the neighbors…
No one opened the door.
Maybe they’re asleep we thought. So we knocked louder…
Again no answer.
After spending about 15 minutes futilely trying to wake up Julie and Stacey with the door knocks, some of the neighbors noticed our raucous. Feeling guilty and realizing this wasn’t going to work, we had to find another way in or else sleep and freeze in the car! I couldn’t believe we were locked out!
So Andy and I went back outside and tried to toss rocks and pine cones up over the balcony of our condo…
At this point, we were getting desperate. We couldn’t believe Julie and Stacey were such heavy sleepers! Anyways, Andy finally came up with the idea of trying to climb up to the balcony.
This was no small feat as there wasn’t much to hold on to once he got above the first floor balcony. So, I had to trespass onto the first floor balcony and give Andy a boost so he could at least grab a hold of a beam just underneath the second story.
Once he got up there, both of us were hoping he wouldn’t fall because it was at least 20-30ft to the ground!
Fortunately, he managed to get in through the balcony (screen door not closed thankfully) and finally open the door for my parents and I to get in.
When all was said and done, we didn’t get to sleep until about 2:30am! Not good since we intended to get up at 5am to hopefully get to Glacier Point at sunrise…