The trip took me through Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, which was a very pretty, very open area with these huge glacial boulders strewn about.
It was on that bus ride that my camera stopped working (a sign of things to come). Which meant I was carrying 3 lbs of dead weight on my entire trip -- and I ended up taking many, many fewer pictures than I would have otherwise.
My typical setup includes a camera clip from Peak Designs which leaves my camera easily accessible, clipped onto my backpack strap, however, without a working camera, I was forced to try to use my GoPro and cell phone to take pictures.
After the 3 hour bus ride, I was safely in the Yosemite Valley, and poised to wander around for the next 8 or so hours.
I went and picked up my backcountry permit (along with my WAG bag -- for the LAST day of my hike) , mailed a couple post cards to friends who had requested them, and then wandered over to the backpackers campsite and set up for the evening.
A bit about the valley: There were people EVERYWHERE. It was like walking downtown on a busy street during lunch, constantly. I don't think I could've managed staying there for a week, I might've gone a little bit crazy.
The shuttle service around the valley was amazing, and allowed me to see and do everything I needed to that day in about 10% of the time it would've taken otherwise. The restaurants were reasonably priced, and they had beer (so of course, I had one of those before I went to sleep that night).
I finally dozed off around 10pm.... and awoke at about 4:30, and started to pack up and get ready for my hike.
Read On: http://www.mkehiker.com/blog/day-1-backpackers-campground-to-illilouette-creek-12-miles