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Yosemite July 2011

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OK so thanks to all who chimed in on the last post. My new plan is in and semi permanent. I'm going to go in July (17-19) after all. It was the only campsite in upper pines available 30 seconds after they where made available . After i purchased them i saw that they were handicapped spots. I did some research and i guess its fine because the rest of the camp sites are full.. i hope worst comes to worst they just move us to open campsites to oblige the truly handicapped.

Anywaaay. My itinerary is as follows

17th - Leave in the am to arrive in Yosemite before 1:30 to check in. Set up camp then explore Yosemite valley for the rest of the day
18th- Two groups will hike due to the fact i only have 3 half dome permits but 6 in my group. First group leaves 2.5 hours earlier then second group. Group one hikes up to half dome then back down to the trail where the clouds rest trail meets the half dome trail and meet up with the others. then onto clouds rest and back hopefully before it gets to dark.
19th - toulume meadows and carlon falls
20th - after check out go to bridal vale and hang out under the waterfall till were ready to hit the long road home.

so few questions.
First, what do you think of the trip?
Second, natural places to swim in Yosemite valley with epic views nearby?
3rd. foresee any problems with the handicapped spot?
4th, any body have experience with driving from southernmost California to Yosemite? Google said 8 hours.. whats it really?

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