Everyone play along please. Pull out your engineering protractor and find the line that indicates 45 degrees from the horizontal surface. Oh, don't have a protractor handy? Fantastic, because my story will sound more death defying without the visual indicator that 45 degrees is not actually 90 degrees. Yet climbing the Half Dome Cables in Yosemite National Park seemed as if the granite face we climbed was every bit of 90 degrees steep. Especially when all you have to grasp onto are two half inch stainless steel cables. We had forgotten to pack our gloves, but luckily for our non calloused hands, there was a pile of donated gloves at the bottom of the cables for those people who were not informed.
Did I mention we had all ready trekked 11 miles, rising a total of 4801 feet to get to get to this spot? Do the math friends, that is 480 feet shy of a vertical mile. Lets just call it an even mile. The views along the road were beautiful.......
Yet the views from the top of the Dome were the best. Hands down one of the most beautiful landscapes we had ever scene. That's me getting too close to the edge for Denise's comfort.
|Small me Big Valley|
Ah beautiful......what's that, I am sorry, you are going to have to repeat yourself. They are not sending a helicopter to pluck us off the mountain? How the hell do we get down then....oh shit.....
I guess some would say, and did say as we passed them on the way up the cables, that it is much easier getting down off of this wretchedly beautiful piece of granite than on the way up. Something about "gravity doing all the work" is what they said. Honestly, I think with all the teeth clenching and heavy panting on the way up, I don't think I heard them correctly, or else the helicopter would have taken us back to the valley. Moreover, according to Denise's new found fear of heights, gravity was on her shit list. Who would have thought, lonely gravity, the thing that keeps oxygen in the atmosphere for us to breath on her shit list.
Since I am righting this, you may have guessed it. We made it down safe. Success was ours to savor.....ON THE 8 MILE RETURN HIKE! What the? We finished our hike having trekked a total of 19 miles, climbed countless stone steps, gasped the air at 9000 feet, and felt the freedom and beauty of Yosemite. That was day one at Yosemite.
We settled into our Camp Curry Yurt (canvas tent lodge) that night pondering over the accomplishment we had just completed, falling asleep without any questions. The next morning, the muscles in our legs asked the questions: WHY? Walking was a task and Advil was our friend.
|Camp Curry Sign|
In between our two big hikes, we walked all over the Yosemite Valley visiting Mirror Lakes, Yosemite Falls, and had a beer at the Ahwahnee Lodge. We even had a chance to take in a performance of an actor playing John Muir. It was actually an extremely moving performance. And come to find out, John Muir is the reason why Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park are preserved in their beauty, and here for us to enjoy.
We had a fantastic time on our little outdoor adventure. I did not even get to mention the part about attending Adam and Eva's wedding in Palos Verdes, nor the 3 bears and two coyotes we saw. All of these were seen in the wild, including Adam. Ah....maybe next time perhaps. For now, I leave you with big trees.