On the morning of October 6, 2000 me, my father-in-law Jim and three men from my church, Dwayne, John and Tim met in the parking lot of Save Mart in Merced to embark on an overnight backpacking trip to Yosemite. Our plan was to backpack to Little Yosemite Valley, spend the night there and leave for Half Dome the next morning without our heavy backpacks.
We arrived at the park about 8 am. The first order of business was to go to the Wilderness Center to secure our wilderness permit for our overnight stay. You can do this in advance or on a first-come, first-served basis. I chose the latter and was told there was no room for us in the campground. We would have to camp further up the trail, which would put us closer to Half Dome. The only “problem” was that we would have to carry bear canisters to store our food. Little Yosemite Valley campground has food lockers to store your food so there is no need for canisters.