We bid farewell to Tahoe, land of lakes that you can wade out far past where you’d expect the waters to rise above and be just at calf level.
We left with a ledger filled with must-visit trails disclosed over frosted beverages in a taco tavern. Everyone we met was a backpacker, a skier, a climber, or some combination of them all. We found ourselves in adventure mecca. It took all of our self control not to jump on the condo-boat combo we wandered past and call it home.
But, there is more to see, and so we wound our way through Eldorado National Forest and into Yosemite National Park. My first trip to this land of great granite walls was unforgettable. Jenna, Josh, and I did an epic hike to the summit of North Dome and found our way into a Sequoia grove, where the three of us journeyed into the hall of giants.
Josh and I passed through the park gates for our second time on Sunday evening and took the afternoon to set up camp for the week and get the lay of the land. In the mornings, I rose early clad in Smart Wool socks and thermals. I climbed into the Jeep beneath the moonlight to do some school work. After sunrise, I switched over to “work-work,” and eventually we made our way to the lodge, where we’d tap away at our keyboardings listening to a crackling sympony in th hearth and plot our afternoon adventures during our breaks. I’d walk out through the winding paths of Half Dome Village and stare in awe at the granite giants towering above, just waiting to be explored.
The afternoons took us to Vernal and Nevada Falls as well as Mirror Lake. In the evenings, we cooked beneath the stars, cozied up in hammocks, and read by headlamp light, eventually finding our way into the warmth of the tent.
Living in the woods is by no means easy, but it does inspire a sense of perspective. It makes you take a step outside the norm, notice the incredible world we so often just pass through, and also appreciate the creature comforts of home.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau