Yosemite National Park looked as if it was snowing. Unfortunately, it was ash. A massive fire was sparked by lightning and smoke was in the air. (As of now, over 2100 acres have burned.) I spent the morning and early afternoon wandering around Yosemite Village, doing laundry, and setting up camp. My cousin, Kevin, arrived shortly thereafter. We spent time catching up. After all, with twenty-two years between our last visit, there was a great deal to discuss. We cooked dinner, and walked to grab ice cream. We tried to get to bed early, with our alarms set for four-thirty in the morning.
The alarm wasn’t even needed. I woke up at 4:15. We made coffee, ate breakfast, and geared up. We got to the trailhead at 5:30 in the morning. Here are some details about our hike. (I’ll let you use these with the photos to create your own description of the day.)
-Total distance hiked: 17.5+ miles
-Total time hiked: 13.5 hours
-Total elevation gain: 4,800 feet
-Total elevation drop: 4,800 feet
-Total water consumed: 1.5+ gallons
Needless to say, my legs are sore. Kevin and I got up, and drove towards the Ansel Adams Gallery. We hobbled on a picture taking walk with our guide, Christine. On our walk, we encountered a large black bear eating apples no more than twenty feet from us. Afterwards, Kevin and I said our farewells.
I’ve been finishing writing postcards to my students. It’s a nice tradition, but 55 postcards take awhile to write and address. With my exhaustion, the plan is to take things easy today. I’m going to grab a shower, pizza, and a beverage at Curry Village later. Tonight, I hope to return to Yosemite Village to capture Half Dome in the sunset.
Fear can be immobilizing. Yesterday, I experienced such fear on the cables up to Half Dome. In moments like that, I’ve learned that true internal dialogue is quite powerful. I kept telling myself that I just need to take each board at a time, and keep a good grip. The entire day was powerful, exhausting, long, wonderful, extreme, and peaceful at the same time. Like any fear generating experience, the journey is only enriched.