Monday, August 6, 2012

Yosemite Part II

Back from Yosemite. Wow - that is an absolutely wondrous place. If you all ever get a chance to go, go. I have so many thoughts. First is around the sheer vastness of the place. It is beyond enormous - apparently it's the same size as the State of Rhode Island. It's so big that it took us 45 minutes to drive from our camp site to the Valley. My second thought is that the Valley is where most of the action is, but poses a conundrum because it gets crazy crowded, particularly this time of the year.

But man - is it something. We got to see most if not all of the main characters; Half Dome, North Dome and the grand daddy of them all - El Capitan. El Cap moved me and to top it off, we got to see  a SAR (Search and Rescue) operation on a climber who got himself in a bit of trouble (understatement). Wow was that something - helicopter going back and forth up the mountain (along with requisite materials) where they eventually had to set themselves up to belay down the freaking Nose to rescue this moron. And based on our conversations with the lead rescue guy, this guy was indeed an idiot; inexperienced and on a short rope. We were captivated by the entire scene and must have sat out there for three hours watching the entire situation unfold. It was like something out of a movie. That dude was stuck on the mountain for almost ten hours too - though an idiot, I sure do hope he is ok (according to his radio report - he had a walkie talkie so we could hear him - he lost feeling in his legs).

The rest of the trip was great; We hiked a ton. We did a hike out together and when we hit our end point, I ran ahead and then ran back myself. Even though I never lost the trail (it was well marked) it was pretty disconcerting to be out there and not see any sign whatsoever of another human being. I realized that if I can blown off the path, I could have been lost for literally days. Sobering reality but again, I was never in any trouble at all.

The camping part was super fun. I'm not much of a camper but my friends are and I really enjoy it; more so than I ever thought possible. Only downside if there was one is that it's dry this time of the year and the campsite was DIRTY. And I mean - DIRTY. For all of you interested, I've attached a photo of my foot - and that is after having scrubbed it for a full 15 minutes. I was never so happy to see a shower as when I got home.

Anyway, I can cross that one off the bucket list. And I'd go back in a minute, hopefully with the kids in tow.

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