Monday, September 27, 2010


So this was my first real vacation of the year. Of course I would take a vacation where I hike over 40 miles in 3 days but it was well worth it. Yosemite is probably my favorite place that I have ever been too. I have spent so many trips here camping with my family or going on backpacking trips with my dad and brother. I had been wanting to take some of my friends that had never been there to this amazing place. We had a trip planned that had 3 long day hikes over 3 days. Our first was probably the most epic of the 3. We decided that we could drive to Yosemite, pack up camp, and hike to the top of Cloud’s Rest all in the same day. Although we did accomplish this we did spend more time than I would have liked hiking in the dark. Seeing the sunset from Cloud’s Rest might have been worth it…I haven’t decided yet. The hike to Cloud’s Rest I thought was 10 miles round trip. It ended up being 15 and you hike up 2500 feet and down 2500 feet. An ambitious hike for starting at 3:00pm. We set a fast pace and our group quickly split into the group that was determined to make it to the top regardless of time and the group that was sane. We made it to the top and seeing the faces of my friends that had never been to something like that was priceless. I now know what it must have been like for my dad when my jaw dropped the first time I saw that view. From Cloud’s Rest you look down Half Dome and you can see the entirety of Yosemite Valley. On all the sides around you can see the vast wilderness and granite peaks. The sun went down on our hike back and I was pretty surprised how quickly it went from being sunset to dusk to complete darkness. At this point I was really happy that I had packed a few headlamps in my day back and it was actually not a bad hike in the dark. Eerily peaceful I would say. That was until Heidi and I decided that we were walking faster than the other 3 in our group and we decided to go up ahead and get the car and drive it closer for the other guys. About 5 minutes after Heidi said how safe she felt even though we were in complete darkness, I was trying to make sure we were going the right way at a trail junction she sees what we are very sure was a mountain lion. I had seen eyes in the darkness following us the whole time but was hoping that it was a deer or even a bear. Bears are much more afraid of humans than a mountain lion. At this point we pretty much just screamed at it and tried to make ourselves look big. That didn’t really bother the mountain lion who just stayed where it was which happened to be right on the trail that we were tying to go on. At this point we decided it would be a good idea to head back up the trail to rejoin our group because a group of 5 is much more intimidating than a group of 2. (especially when one member of the group is 6’9). At no point did the mountain lion seem like it was going to attack us or anything it was more watching us but that was a very terrifying moment. We successfully made it back to camp and were able to enjoy the next two days of our trip which included a hike to a lake with a gorgeous meadow where there was a wildfire pretty close to us (we might have ignored the signs), and a trip to the top of Yosemite Falls. For some photos check out my brother’s and Trent’s facebook page…!/album.php?aid=65681&id=1130580001&page=2!/album.php?aid=196115&id=715810215

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