Just a few years back, Allyson and I embarked on the biggest physical adventure for us yet. We spent nearly a week in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe areas. We didn’t have a car. We often depended on distant family and strangers. We slept deep in the woods of some of the most rugged wilderness we’d ever seen. For novices on a trip like this, there is a wild mix of wonder and anxiety. At any moment you could switch from the depths of discomfort to the peaks of fascination just by taking a few steps. We switched back and forth between those two feelings frequently on this trip.
But, beyond all the momentary emotions, in my mind the sight of it all is still very firm in my mind. I can still see all those features. I remember how blown away we were, because I’m still blown away by the memories. To even carry yourself to places like these instills more self confidence in you for years. You know that you saw these things. You made it to those views. You saw the bigness. For a time, you were part of it.
As is normal, I prepared thoroughly for this trip. I researched guide books. I memorized maps. I knew names of major trails and lodging facilities. I read John Muir. I still could not believe what I saw when we got there. I had seen pictures of the land marks, known the stats on them, I’d even watched youtube videos and been amazed even then. But, they still did not prepare me. When in a place like Yosemite, you are stopped frequently to be still and look and the sites in front of your face. Often in our lives, we are too busy to pause and pay the attention afforded to appreciating nature. We miss the birds and flowers and fascinating animals hiding just under our noses, not realizing what all is there. Yosemite demands your attention. If you are not grabbed by the site of this place, you have serious issues indeed.
On this first day of our arrival to Yosemite, Allyson and I received a crash course in appreciation for this place. We rented bikes and rode around the valley floor, getting closer looks at the most famous features, but being blown away by even what there might be considered common. We were not exactly sure what the future held–we were to spend 3 days backpacking in the wilderness–but we could tell it would be unforgettable.
Here’s part 1 of the video that tells the story of our adventure.
Next time, in part 2, Allyson and Troy set out on their backpacking trip and learn a lesson in pacing themselves.