Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yosemite Trip

Now that it's the off season I've been having a few more adventures than normal that involve a bit of travel. Yosemite is about 4 hours away, but sometimes when something is so close, you just assume you'll fit it into your schedule later, but that's not the case anymore! I rounded up my friends Jonny and Matt, we loaded up Matt's Xterra with tents, food, sleeping bags, maps and his hyper dog Petey and headed South. I had read the weather report and the low was 25 and a friend reported snow there 2 weeks ago, so I was fully prepared for freezing conditions, but when we got there we were peeling off layers! It was definitely in the 60s, with no complaints from me.

We pulled into one of the few campsites that's still open and found a great spot. (Which is the great thing about traveling in the off season...no reservations or crowds!) We set up our tents, started a fire and cooked some burgers over it, and of course had delicious s'mores. I'm happy to say we had no encounters with bears. Last time we were all camping in Tahoe, Jonny decided to wake up at 5 am and patrol around our tents snarling and rustling leaves while I laid in my mummy bag eyes wide open with a swiss army blade open not knowing what to do if whatever was outside decided to shake my tent in search of food.

Anyway, the next day we did a killer hike that gained 3200 feet in elevation in 4.5 miles. It was a haul, but the views were definitely worth it. El Capitan is breathtaking at first sight with its unbelievable sheerness and overwhelming presence. There is just so much rock that has been beautifully cut by an old glacier. It makes you feel so small and appreciative of how amazing life slowly but persistently works its wonders.

Another cozy night in the sleeping bag and a short hike (that's all my butt could handle) the next day and it was time to leave Yosemite. I can't wait to go back in the Spring when all the snow melt feeds the waterfalls past capacity because camping for me is like hitting the reset button on perspective: life can become a routine that blinds you from what's outside of it, but when you enter the woods with what you packed for security, turn off your cell phone, watch the moon rise behind you and sit around a campfire and are completely content with your surroundings, you know you've found some old peace deep within.

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