I hiked, I climbed, I beheld the glory that is Yosemite and I can't even begin to tell you how spectacular it was. Nature was hurling itself at me at every turn, each sight more breathtaking than the last. I pushed my body to its limit (which isn't much) and I was sore from the task, but richly rewarded.
I rested my weary body each evening in the quaint Wawona Hotel. I was so seduced by the front porch of our cabin, I watched the sunset there while sipping on champagne and eating plump strawberries. I'm telling you, camping is hard work. After I ran out of champagne, I had to walk at least 50 steps over to the main hotel bar to get another drink.
After a good night's rest, I packed my backpack with water, snacks, camera, maps and hand sanitizer (trust me on this one) and headed down to the valley to behold the Yosemite Valley I had only read about previously.
Spring in Yosemite means the falls are flowing. The sight of Yosemite Falls as I climbed out of the car almost caused me to fall on my face.
I had to climb. I had to get closer to the falls whose sweet song in the distance was calling me. As I got closer, their sweet song gave way to a fierce roar. The gentle mist I felt in the distance became a shower as I tried to get too close. The falls have a way of telling you to keep your distance.
Not one to be dissuaded I followed the mist trail uphill 1000 feet on the lore that I would be greeted smack in the face by Vernal Falls. As I climbed the granite stairs leading to the last portion of the falls, I felt the spray getting stronger and stronger and as I climbed higher and higher I started to realize just how high up I was. It was hard to collect my thoughts at that moment; I was just there and in awe.
I had my heart set on climbing Half-Dome, but darn it you had to have a reservation to do that. I just sat there and drank in the view. If you slip a pair of binoculars in your backpack you can watch for climbers and wish it was you.
I thought maybe perhaps I'd go cool my heels in the hotel pool. Yeah, no. I think Half-Dome was less frightening.
Hot Dog Dude on the other hand had his own plans. He told me, "Next time I kill a bear, I'm having it mounted like this!" Being our anniversary and all I didn't want to be "Major Mood Killer" so I withheld my response. "Over my dead body..." Then I thought wait, "What if he did that to my dead body?" Then the mood was totally ruined anyways.
John Muir wrote, "Yosemite Valley was by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter..."
He also wrote, "The Yosemite trip only made me hungry for another far longer and farther reaching, and I determined to set out again as soon as I had earned a little money to get near views of the mountains in all their snowy grandeur, and study the wonderful forests, the noblest of their kind I had ever seen..."
Yosemite indeed made me hungry, hungry to return and stay longer.
Yosemite - Wait for me, I'll be back! I'll probably even bring Hot Dog Dude with me too.