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Hetch Hetchy, July 2004

To summarize, another great trip but not one I would repeat.  Instead I would probably just go directly to Rancheria Falls and avoid all of the hot, sandy, waterless trails.  Don't let the photos fool you, just because most of them have water doesn't mean that it is abundant on the loop.  I also had an epiphany of sorts and realized that I am not a good backpacker, at least mentally.  What I found was that if I go on a backpacking trip and leave Emily at home I am quite melancholy for a good bit of the time and the only way around this is to either have Emily come along or to go on a trip when I couldn't otherwise be with her.  The former wouldn't have been a good idea since this was actually a fairly physically demanding trip, with a lot of climbing and high temperatures, not Em's ideal environment.  The latter seems promising, and indeed, my favorite backpacking trips without Emily occurred when I live in San Francisco and she was in Southern California so what I did on the weekends was irrelevant.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the following photos and text.

Here is the route, starting Friday morning at O'Shaughnessy Dam in the southwest corner of the map and traveling clockwise, arriving back at the dam Monday morning.  According to TOPO!, the distance is about 34 miles.
Day 1: north then east to Lake Vernon,
Day 2: backtrack west to the junction then northeast to the junction north of Andrews Peak, 
Day 3: east to the junction at the top-right corner of the map then southwest to Rancheria Falls,
Day 4: west back to the dam.

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