"GET OUTTA HERE BEAR!"
When someone shouts "BEAR!" you tend to wake up pretty quickly. I poked my head out of the tent and about 20 yards away was a cub, maybe 1 year old? He was nosing around the neighbor's campsite.
What I didn't know, was that he had just come from OUR campsite. Dennis saw him messing with Terp's bag before he wandered over to harrass the other campers. They were successfully able to scare him away by yelling and clapping. This was the first of our bear sightings in Yosemite.
Since we were all wide awake we decided to get things together and head into the Valley of a Million People. We had to wait until 5pm for the shuttle to bring us up to Toulumne (our point of entry) so we had plenty of time to kill. We drank a few more beers, ate a few sandwiches, took a few naps and spent some time at the Visitor Center. John Muir and I became best buds.
Finally, our shuttle arrived and our awesome driver tackled the curvy roads like a pro. This means he honked his huge bus at anyone that dared slow down, stop improperly along the road, or if they just looked at him funny. He was kind of angry, but I kind of liked him.
At around 7 pm we left the trailhead which meant we had about an hour of sunlight left. We were required to get 4 miles out before setting up camp. However, Dennis and Terp ran into "someone who seemed official" on the trail who told them we could camp anywhere in the meadow ahead. This was only about 2 miles out, but since the light was fading fast, we decided to call it quits and nestled into some trees along the river.
I actually got up and took most of these photos the next morning as the sun rose, after a chilly night which saw the temperatures dip below freezing.