Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Half Dome

Neither Aaron or I slept well the night before our half dome hike. The ranger came banging through camp at 2am, we didn't know it was the ranger. Opening food bins and making noise. Aaron was on his knees ready to attack. It is always nice to camp with boys you feel so much safer. I was really nervous and sleep was still really hard to do. So at 5am we were both more than ready to get up. We started hiking at 5:45. Not bad. There were a few others already on the trail. Aaron and I have never done a long hike together so I was interested in how it would go. Let me say that we started FAST! Like super fast, passing everyone fast. I am a decent hiker and I was struggling to keep up with Mister race to the summit. Well that lasted for about 1.5 miles and then he needed a break. I might have given him the are you kidding me, why are we breaking so soon, this is gong to be the longest hike ever look. Turns out he started faster than he should have. I took the lead after that. He wiped himself out and was pulling his legs up with his hands. Too much lactic acid and we are 1/7 of the way in. He did great keeping up with me, if he took the lead he was super slow, so that privilege was lost to him:) We went up on the Mist trail. It is a mile shorter but much steeper. Going up we knew it would be fine.

There was a nice paved path all the way to Vernal Falls, a popular tourist attraction.
 It was very nice and still very early. Yet we were already sweating.
Then the terrain changed and we hiked up two miles of steps to get to Nevada Falls.
 I knew there was a reason I love the stair stepper.
 The waterfalls were gorgeous. It was so quiet hiking in the morning. We were by ourselves for most of the way.
 Once we got to the top of Nevada Falls the terrain evened out for a mile before we started going up again. It was interesting because you could not really see half dome for most of the hike. I wasn't sure we were headed in the right direction. The higher up we got the better the views.
 It was a really hot day. I was so happy we started early.
I wish I had pictures of us hiking the sub dome. You finally reach the granite rock and can see the cables way off in the distance. They look like they are straight up. Then you hike up at least 1000 more stairs on the sub dome to get to the cables. We took a break about 100 yards before the cables. This is when it got real real scary. It looked nuts. It was so steep. I was scared just sitting there, that was a bad idea.
 Finally I told Aaron I had to go. This was crazy. He told me to have fun there was no way he was going. Aaron does not like heights and so I knew this might happen. I said ok and headed towards the cables. The closer I got to the cables the more I realized it was steep but not as steep as it seemed.
It starts off kind of gradual at least. I told Aaron to come to the base and check it out but he insisted that he was good where he was. So off I went on my own adventure. I was blessed to feel great all day while hiking. No vertigo at all, but the cables did make me nervous.
 But I did it! Some random dude volunteered to take my picture.
I also took a couple of panoramic shots from the top.
 The view was amazing and I did not do a good job of capturing all that the eye could see.
 Then I started the dreaded hike down the cables. I was most nervous about going down. I got gown maybe 50 yards and Aaron pokes his head around a random person and says, "you aren't coming down are you." Yes, why yes I was. But I turned around and went back up. I was really happy he did it. Some random stranger talked him into it. We hiked 7 miles for this view. Just to illustrate how scared Aaron is of heights, I went to give him my camera and I touched him and he told me not to touch him. "We don't touch this high up." Um ok. We were not by a ledge and our hands barely grazed while I passed you the camera. Got it. No touching.
 Since Aaron was taking my picture I needed to incorporate a power pose. We learned about these at girls camp this year. It was a take home for me. So here is my power pose overlooking Yosemite Valley.
 We ate lunch on top before heading back down. It was not as bad as I imagined. Actually better than going up.
 I could not take my eyes off the rock though. If I did I got super nervous. No enjoying the view while on the cables for me. We experienced the traffic jam on half dome cables on the way down. To many people, one lady trying to turn around in the middle and freaking out, one lady with a heart condition that could only go 5 steps at a time. We were on those cables a long time trying to get down.
 Aaron said he was good to look around as long as both hands were on the cables. Every time you get to a pole, every 10 yards or so, you have to lift your hands off the cable one at a time. That was the worst for Aaron. He was able to look  around. It was pretty steep though.
We did it. Now we had 8 miles back (taking the John Muir trail). It was really hot and we were only half way done. The hike back was relatively easy though. Long but not too steep. It was fun to go a little different route on the way back. I even let Aaron lead since he goes down faster than me.
 Such a beautiful place. We saw so many people still coming up the trail on our way back. I felt horrible for them. It was so hot. So glad we started early.

 The John Muir trail is less steep and not as close to the waterfalls. It was amazing to get this view of the falls and of half dome. I believe half dome is on the left in the picture, I could be wrong though. I hiked that!
I had Aaron sit on a ledge to take his picture. He didn't like that either.

Once we got to Vernal Falls and the paved trail we jogged down. We reached the point of wanting to be done. We were sore, tired, hungry, blistered. It was time to be done. After our hike we went straight to the showers.

We were supposed to stay one more night but we knew tomorrow morning was just a clean up and go morning. We also knew the darn rangers would be going through camp again. We decided to just pack up and head to Ben and Katie"s. Half dome was a great adventure. It was 15 miles for us. It took us around 10 hours total. It was a long amazing day. Until next time Yosemite!

1 comment:

jana said...

You hiked the cables with vertigo!! Amazing. Loved reading all about your hiking and biking adventure. Now come tell me about it.

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