Yosemite is Real
The next leg of the trip was missing only one thing, actual climbing. We had just enough time to make the days drive to Yosemite for one night. It was a squeeze, but well worth it. You know that feeling of camping several nights, climbing for days, needing a real shower and complete meal? This was where we were at. But we needed to see Yosemite. As we were driving the winding roads that approach the park Mike kept saying “guys, I don’t think you realize what is going to happen. We are going to turn the corner, and BAM! It’s Yosemite!” Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Cathedral Spires, and the mighty El Capitan right there in our faces. Basically, the rock climbers equivalent to a teenage girl being star struck at the site of a celebrity. He said all of this knowing it would build suspense in us first timers. Every turn we made all conversations would stop and we would silently look out the windows. Nope not it. Another turn, nope. Then…”Oh. My. Gosh.” Its real, I mean surreal.
Austin, me, and Jonathan
You talk to anyone, climber or not, that has been to Yosemite Valley and their face immediately lights up and something like “the most beautiful place I have ever seen” comes out. Let me tell you, it’s true. There really is just something about that valley that seems so right. Truly a glimpse of heaven. The statement I keep using to describe my take on it is that “it is exactly what you would imagine a National Park to be back in the glory days of National Parks.” That nostalgic feeling that you get when you see your parents old camping equipment flows throughout this valley. This place is one of a kind. Finally we were in Yosemite, so without hesitation we made our way to the meadows in front of El Cap to gawk. My word, it is big, beautiful, intimidating, and so so mesmerizing. Realizing we were minutes away from the base we started up the approach.
Austin looking up The Nose.
Soon we stood at the base of The Nose. As I was deciding if I should touch it or wait to touch it when I am actually climbing Jonathan moved around the corner. Then he said, cautiously and sternly, “Guys? We’ve got a bear.” My decision was easily made, I must wait to feel its glory when I climb it. Thinking back on it now of course I would get 20 feet from the base of the most admirable climbing route and a bear stands in the way (rolling my eyes). I guess that’s how it was supposed to work out. This bear has stuck with me and reminds me that it will take a ‘bear fight’ to get to the point where I am able and ready to climb El Cap. With that said, the seed is planted and I hope to be wearing a harness next time I’m at the base.
With hopes to return.
Continue to Pt. 3