Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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Panorama Trail: Second Time's a Charm?

Catherine Ryan Hyde

This is not the first time my hiking/travel adventures have required a bit of a do-over. Those who have followed this blog for a long time may remember The Great Crater Lake Do-Over. I took my mom and my dog and myself to Crater Lake just in time to run into a fierce wildfire nearby. We did go to the lake--we had to. The road out again went right by the lake, unless we wanted to backtrack a hundred miles or so. So we stopped at the lake. But the smoke was so thick we literally could not see it. Fortunately, we were able to get one of those "act of God" refunds on our camping reservations. Also fortunately, it was part of a much longer trip, up to see friends in Central Oregon, then a self-guided tour of the Columbia River Gorge, then seeing a friend in the Portland area, then a fabulous trip down Highway 1 from the top of Oregon to San Francisco. So the trip was not wasted. And the following fall, we went back to Crater Lake and had a lovely stay.

Let's hope my luck holds.

Last fall I did a trip to Yosemite expressly for the purpose of hiking the Panorama Trail. But then the weather got dicey, and rain was predicted. I went anyway. Was I going to let a little rain stop me? Hell, no. The night before the would-be hike I took the shuttle into Yosemite Village (yes, in the rain) to buy a better rain poncho for the hike. Then I went to bed. And was wakened by lightning and thunder. I prayed it would be gone by morning. It only got stronger.

Now, I'm not a stickler for any special trail conditions. But I have a temperature cut-off, because, living in Cambria all these years, I have no heat acclimation at all. And I do not, repeat, do not, hike in Yosemite high country in the middle of a lightning storm. No doubt this is why I have survived to write this blog post. 

Tomorrow I go back to Yosemite for the do-over. Weather looks great. Plus, I'm in much better shape than I was last fall, coming off the Pike's Peak hike to Barr Camp (with the heaviest pack I've ever lugged) and the training I did to work up to it. So, rather than taking the bus up to Glacier Point and hiking the Panorama Trail downhill (last year's plan) I'm going to hike the Panorama up to Glacier Point and then hike down the Four-Mile Trail. A much more satisfying day.

I'm matching this post with a photo I took last year from Glacier Point (I drove up) the day before the hike that was not to be. When I get home, I hope to have a lot more great photos. 

Fingers crossed for the weather!