July 9, 2013

"We're Up All Night to YOSEMITE!"

First of all, let me explain the title of this post. For about a week or so, Dave has been singing "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams NON-STOP. Naturally, it became the theme song of our three day trip to Yosemite over the 4th. Dave replaced "we're up all night to get lucky" with "we're up all night to Yosemite." It's pretty fitting because we were, in fact, up all night to Yosemite.

In my opinion, it wouldn't be a true adventure, if there weren't some hoops to jump through. I knew very early on our trip to Yosemite would be a true adventure because

1. We didn't reserve a campsite,

and

2. Jason missed his first flight and didn't arrive to LAX until midnight on said departure date.

Thus, the boys drove through the night with hopes of arriving to Bridalveil Creek Campground early enough to claim a site before the rest of the crowd. Surprisingly (I definitely had my doubts), the plan worked! It was only after a bit of digging that we came across a warm Australian couple who invited us to share apple slices and swap stories of our travels before starting to set up camp as they tore down.

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Although already exhausted from the long drive and quick setup, we headed to The Valley to embark on our first hike of the trip.

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Our exhaustion quickly transformed into adrenalin, after our first view of all Yosemite had to offer. We started with about a 7 mile hike (roundtrip) to the top of Vernal Fall and then to the top of Nevada Fall.

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Vernal Fall:

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Nevada Fall:
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Waterfalls are something I haven't been able to experience with our San Gabriel hikes, so it was definitely a nice change of pace. Plus, being as hot as it was, it was nice having a way to cool off.

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We decided to take a different route back down which was a good decision. Not only was it less strenuous, but  it also provided equally as beautiful, yet different views.

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Believe it or not, our day was not finished. After some delicious camp food, we headed to Glacier Point to watch the sunset.

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Over the past year, I've been able to hike a ton, and it has become a very spiritual hobby for me. As Dave and I were watching the colors and shadows change, I couldn't help but think of the parallel of God's beauty on display and the beauty He sees when He looks at our lives. The two falls you see in this picture are the very falls I had just hiked. During those hikes I had moments of pain and joy, shortness of breath and never feeling more alive, feelings of defeat and feelings of triumph. All the while, though sometimes I was unsure and didn't know how exactly it would happen, I knew I would get to where I was going. Life is often like my hikes, but when I am given opportunities to see my hikes from afar, I get a glimpse of what God must see when He looks at our lives. He knows there are the long uphill battles, He sees those gritty details, but He also sees where we are going. More importantly, He sees how all of it creates what is displayed in this picture. Beauty for His glory.

I think it's safe to say, the sunset at Glacier Point was the more contemplative part of my trip.

As much as we didn't want to leave, the thought of much needed sleep sounded pretty good, too. Despite being cold and thinking I heard a mouse in the middle of the night, I felt pretty rested the next morning and was excited and ready to conquer Upper Yosemite Falls!

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This was another strenuous 7 mile trek with what seemed to be a hotter sun. However, the views at the top of the fall made it all worth it.

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And how could I resist experiencing the falls for myself?

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Once we reached the bottom again, it was time to say a dreaded goodbye to The Valley and spend a relaxing evening in hammocks around the campfire.

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Our final hike of the trip was in the cool of the next morning to Sentinel Dome. This hike was far easier on the muscles, and a lot less crowded. Only 2 miles round trip and we were still blessed with more amazing scenery.

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We sat at the top for a while, enjoying our last moments at higher elevation before heading back down to pack up. We loaded up the car in record time and ventured to our last site of the trip: The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

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We found it took 1o of us to wrap around the entire tree. I never thought I could feel THAT small.

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Yosemite was a more beautiful trip than I imagined, and I have every intention of going back before I leave California. There is so much more to climb and explore. I wouldn't mind having my first bear siting either. ;)

Adventure on my friends!

<3 Elise

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