Day 21

Yosemite! Thanks to Facebook memories, we realized this morning that it was exactly five years ago, to the day, that we were in Yosemite.

We started the day early. All awake by 5 and on the road by 5:30. It was one of those crazy drives that I’ve learned to hate, something like 35 miles and a two hour driving time. That means lots of twists, turns, and curves. Zak was driving, Zoe was doing fine, but Ellie and I were not. She was the one to loose it, thank goodness for the idea of ziplock baggies in the car. Gross that it is see through, but wonderful for containing smell. We finally pulled into the Yosemite Lodge lot and Ellie’s first words when exiting the car were: Wow, mom, have you had an experience like that. Like throwing up in a bag in the car.

It was good to be on solid ground and we had about an hour before our shuttle left. Yosemite offers tours from the lodge and back to the top of Glacier Point. Our plan was to take the tour to the top and then hike back down, I think 9.2 miles. The bus ride was ok. I hadn’t realized it would be over an hour, but the views were gorgeous. Zak, Ellie, and I even napped a bit.

We finally arrived at Glacier Point. Half Dome. Yosemite Falls. Just the most amazing views. It was about 10/10:30 when we started the hike. A bit crowded at first, but before long the hikers thinned out. It’s worthwhile to mentioned that this was one of the most crowded hikes we’ve done. With the exception of the popular very beginning and the very end, we saw a few dozen other groups of hikers. Once again, Zoe and Ellie were some of the only kids.

We were about two miles into the hike, when I just wasn’t feeling well. Sucked. Horrible. Awful. We had no option but to continue with the hike going back wasn’t possible, it was straight up and we didn’t have shuttle tickets for the return trip.

The hike itself was breathtaking beautiful. We circled almost all around Half Dome. We saw the most magnificent waterfalls. Every time I looked up I muttered “wow” to myself. The beauty is really unmatched to anything. The hike was also hard. Going downhill seems easy, but it was very challenging. The rocks that formed the path were not uniform. A lot of concentration was required for each step. Our other challenge was the heat. I read that the high in Yosemite was about 105. Parts of the hike were in the shade, under the magnificent trees, and there was an occasional breeze, but it seems like most was in the beating sun.

I think the motion sickness from the drives combined with the motions of each step and the intense heat made my body pissed. I continued to get sick throughout the remainder of the hike. All 7 plus miles. I was so weak. I couldn’t eat anything and all 2.5 liters of water I sipped was rejected by my twisting and turning stomach. I just couldn’t get cool enough, even with all the methods we tried. My entire body was shaking uncontrollably, making the required concentration very difficult. I did fall at one point on some steep, slippery granite. I only suffered some scrapes, but did start crying again in yet another National Park.

Eight hours after starting the hike we finally finished. There certainly aren’t words to describe the beauty of Yosemite, but words are lacking to describe how thankful I am for Zak and the girls. They took the best care of me given the situation. They went at my pathetic pace, without complaining. They continuously encouraged me, but didn’t argue when I needed extended breaks. I love them all with my whole being.

Once we ended the hike, we had a half hour shuttle ride to our car and then over four hours of driving to our hotel. I took a Dramamine and napped most of the ride. Zak was a superhero and drove the entire way, even after getting up so early, hiking so far, and not getting his daily afternoon nap. We got in to the hotel super late, took much needed showers, and finally rested our heads on soft pillows.

We’ve heard at every park to only take pictures and leave only footprints. We didn’t take many pictures (I’ll post what we did take next time we have internet), but I left more than footprints. Yosemite now has my ego, pride, and dignity.

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