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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top Ten Joys This Week - Yosemite

DZ and I took a trip to Yosemite .....
Olmsted Point on the way to Tuoloumne Meadows. You can see the back/side of Half Dome to the right of the tree sticking straight up from my head.

We spent a day in the valley where we met up with some of DZ's friends from high school....

....and then headed up to Tuolumne Meadows to hike a six mile section along the John Muir trail through Lyle canyon.

Six miles IN and six miles OUT...12 plus miles traveled (including a couple of wrong turns) at 9,000 feet above sea level.

Here are 10 of my most favorite joys from these past days:
(remember, they are not in any particular order....since I do not discriminate with my joys)

1. floating down the Merced River on an inflatable raft..surrounded by amazing granite walls...there are many wonderful views of Yosemite falls and Half Dome, but the view from the river is most spectacular because you can see both the dome and the falls at the same time. I loved feeling the cool, clear water , the serenity (yes, it was serene in spite of the zillion people around), the sun (I did lather on the sunscreen)...and lastly letting the bright blue dragonfly hitch a ride on my shirt.

2. drinking the ice cold water straight from the river (after "cleaning/zapping").
This water is some of the best water on earth. I kid you not!

3. dipping my tired feet in the fresh, pure, very cold water as it flowed over very large slabs of granite. I am so very grateful for my ability and strength to walk with a pack on my back at 9,000 ft. elevation (pardon me for the redundancy...but I don't want you to forget how high we were).

Some of us dipped more than our tired feet...remember, the water was
Oh yes, I already told you.

4. removing my pack once we reached our destination...nothing like shedding 25 pounds in an instant! Now wouldn't that be something if I could shed another 25 pounds that easy and permanently.

5. feeling the gigantic drops of rain, listening to the cracks of thunder and me running (with my pack on my back, mind you) toward the nearest pine tree, thus avoiding becoming a victim of a lightening strike.

6. viewing wildflowers everywhere! After breakfast, on our way to the river, I noticed dew clinging to the grasses ....it glistened in the sun.

The little dots at the end of the grass blades are actually dew drops.

7. once darkness set in (probably around 9:00), we brushed our teeth and lay our weary heads down to go to sleep. One of the many times I awoke during the night, I zipped open the tent and was greeted to a bright beaming headlight in the sky (aka the moon)....I was in complete awe and gasped..it was S.P.E.C.T.A.C.U.L.A.R.

8. listening to the breezes flow through the trees...smelling pine in the air...

hearing the gushing water rush over the rocks.... coming upon wildlife (marmots, many squirrels, birds, deer but no bears)....

walking through meadows of gorgeous wildflowers....

I love my boots.

and feeling the comfort of enveloping, granite mountains.

8. working together with DZ to set up our tent (virgin voyage)....

cook our food (best camp stove is Pocketrocket....easy to use, compact and light),

and sterilize our water (with a Steripen).

9. passing by and talking to the many friendly people along the trail. EVERYONE was so nice. There were parents with their teenage kids..many fathers with their sons, young adults hiking alone or in small groups (mostly male), and many foreigners.

10. coming home and taking a long hot shower.

I absolutely love the mountains..especially the Sierra Nevada range.

So glad I live so close to such beauty and can't wait t
o plan my next trip.


Natalie said...

Oh how wonderful! I can almost feel as if I were there hiking beside you as I read your Joys! My fave is the lightning - I love summer mountain storms!

Janet said...

You lucky, lucky two! Anytime in the mountains is a treat! Your boots are snazzy! The trails are beautiful! It looks like your tent stood through the night! I really must ask - is David swimming Neekked??? Brrr!

Anonymous said...

Love this post! It's been a few years since I've been to yosemite! Did you have to reserve a campsite?


Packet of Seeds said...

Gwen...we had to get up early (6:15 am) to get in line to wait until the office opened (7:30 am) to get a permit to hike the trail. And they do have volunteers out there making request to show your permit...the first time I have ever been approached to do so.

Janet...it does indeed look like David is swim sans clothing but no, he has a bathing suit on, albeit a very small one (Speedo).

Judy said...

Fantastic adventure....a peak at "Retirement?" I will have to look at a map when we get together to figure out where it is. It makes sense there are so many people visiting that area because it is so beautiful and one can only enjoy it in the summer. See you soon!

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