All right. Here I am. As promised. I will now regale you with great tales of me conquering various waterfalls and mountains. This translates to being a hero.
I’ve now been to Yosemite twice. My first excursion to the lovely valley took place four years ago. I went on a .8 mile hike to the bridge at Vernal Falls, nearly passed out, turned around and went back down. This might sound sissy la la, but let me tell you friends, it is steep. Incredibly steep.
My grandparents, who are age 85 and 80, just made it to the bridge at Vernal Falls last week. Maybe they’re the heroes of this story. I was amazed. If I can do that when I’m 80, I’ll do I don’t know what.
Anyways, here’s a nice shot of us at the bridge.
And they don’t even look winded. And see that waterfall back there? That’s Vernal. See how far away it is? And yes, I conquered that one as well.
To get to the top of Vernal Falls, you go along the Mist Trail which is a series of slippery stairs that have no railing complete with a nice drop off straight into the most terrifying, raging water you’ve ever seen. And it’s not called the Mist Trail for nothing. You’re soaked by the time you get through it.
I guess we’re all faced with certain death everyday. We could get into our cars, step on the accelerator and plunge head long for a tree and do some damage. But I, for one, don’t think much about that. However, when on slippery stairs with no railing, and raging water below, I couldn’t stop thinking that a fall down that embankment would lead to certain death. Rather sobering and completely terrifying.
That, coupled with that fact that I am NOT a hiker, and elevation makes one look like this.
Don’t I look absolutely ghastly? This is when I was warring against blacking out. A little sugar into the blood system and I was back on the slopes, fighting with vim and vigor. Not.
After a few more breaks, we reached Vernal. And here’s a look at what was conquered.
Pictures of the water don’t even do it justice. It’s power stops you in your tracks.
At this point, I vowed not to go down the steps I had just climbed and Dad said we needed to go just a bit farther to reach a different trail. It was a lot further.
It was all the way to Nevada Falls. It was exhausting. I was amazed my legs came through for me. Maybe it was because I took countless rest stops. I will have to hand it to my father for humoring me through these. If he had pushed me, I probably would have got my stubborn streak out and just sat on a rock for hours. Either that or gone til I passed out.
But I arrived at Nevada Falls and collapsed on the flat stone there. Dad took some pictures for me.
We rested for now quite long enough, then headed down the John Muir Trail. I was praying that going down used very different muscles from going up-if not I didn’t think I was going to make it.
We passed a group of horses and I nearly begged for one to take me down. About this time Dad started asking me these complex, thinking questions. After about ten minutes of waiting for an answer from me he asked if I’d figured it out yet. I gasped, ‘Dad. If you think I’m going to waste energy trying to come up with an answer for your question while I’m concentrating on my jiggling calves, burning thighs, our rationed water, and the fact that the bathroom is 2 miles away, think again!’ He chuckled and no more questions were asked.
We journeyed on and I wondered if I had known this was in store for me, would I have come. Took me awhile to come up with an answer. Then I wondered about all the crazy people who do this for fun. I understand not. I asked Dad the question. He answered, ‘So they can say they did it.’ I mulled on this.
We finally made it down. I was dead. 7.2 mile hike. I’ve never even walked 7.2 miles in my life, let alone hike. And this was no walk in the park, this was a climb of 9000 ft, or so one of my good friends tells me. But folks, I did it. And now I consider myself a hero.
I hope you’re all inspired.