Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting down & dirty in Yosemite

Colin's been traveling to his family's cabin in Yosemite ever since he was a little kid. For the last few years he's talked nonstop about this magical place he spent his summers but given our overseas situation, I hadn't been able to get up there, that is until this past week.

Now before I go any further, you have to know this cabin is miles from anywhere (you really need an SUV to get in), and even comes with it's very own outhouse and outdoor shower. That's right! Colin had the pleasure of taking our good friend James up there over Memorial Day last year while they were training in nearby Fallon. When I heard they had to park and walk the remaining mile due to snow only to arrive to a broken heater; *sigh* you can imagine my disappointment not to have been able to spend the weekend there.

Well we chose to come up a little later this year and to my delight, made it all the way to the cabin with very little trouble! After an evening celebrating with the rest of the neighbors over good ole' spaghetti and meatballs we spent the next day raking piles and piles of pine needles that had blanketed the property over the past year. Considering the cabin sits at about 6,800 feet elevation I got my workout in for the day! Sadly I must have caught something lovely as I spent our second night and third day in bed with the flu, no 4th of July for me! I can't think of anything more fun than having to sit on the porch of the outhouse all night with just a flashlight knowing there are bears snoozing in the woods. I'll spare you the details but Colin can attest that I told him at one point I just wanted to keel over and die. Good grief flu!

Fortunately it was a 24 hour bug and I was refreshed and ready to tackle an 8.5 mile hike along the perimeter of Yosemite Valley the next day. Can't say if it was the 9,000 foot elevation or my recovering immune system but I've run 1/2 marathons that were easier. My hunky husband hoofed through it like it was a mere walk in the park. I guess his Eagle Scout days paid off. Still I trooped along in the heat through a 4,000 foot descent (and a 500 foot climb thrown in for kicks) as we gazed at the GORGEOUS waterfalls that are setting records for the valley this year. The pictures don't do much justice but I'll do what I can to share my experiences with you.

Yosemite Falls 

Colin & Aunt Sharon

 A view from the beginning of our 4 1/2 hour, 8 mile, 4,000 foot descending hike. Easy peasy.

Taking a lunch break on the Merced River

 Nevada Falls

 Holy Steps! 
On the Mist Trail descending from Nevada Falls to Vernal Falls

Nevada Falls

Steep scary overlook of Vernal Falls

We took this rather quickly as the mist from the waterfall soaked us (and it felt great!)

 I'm thinking he's rather fond of having his picture taken as he posed on cue. 

Base of Yosemite Falls after our 8.5 mile hike. Yay!

On Friday Colin and I took his sister Desiree for some sightseeing and hiking. Once again, more stunning views that attract people from all over the US, Asia and Europe. 

 Colin & Desiree

Our main activity was a 3 mile hike to the top of Lembert Dome. With lots of rivers and creeks to cross it ended with a fun climb up the rock that makes up the Dome. The view was AMAZING!

Taken from the top of Lembert Dome: 9,400 feet

I could have sat up there all day!

Tenaya Lake at 8,100 feet.

More rock climbing. =)

All in all it was a pretty fun week. I haven't seen such amazing waterfalls since I visited Switzerland 11 years ago. If you have a chance to check them out this summer, go for it. For now I'll get back to laundry. I think our clothes and shoes collected about a pound of dirt during the trip. =)


  1. I LOVE Yosemite!!! Its such a beautiful and almost magical place. Funny thing is that the last time I was there (about 4 years ago), I got a deadly 24 hour stomach flu and had it coming out both ends (eww gross I know). I also spent the night going back and forth from the tent to the bathrooms and at one point I was wishing I would walk into the bathroom to find a bear to eat me and put me out of my misery :). So I can share in your misery, Fun times!!!

    P.S. love all the pics :)

  2. wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww how fantastic!! love it!!

  3. BEAUTIFUL photos :) what a great trip!