After our jaunt with my sister in Vegas which involved eating, shopping, attending an amazing festival, reconnecting with lovely friends and eating some more, we were definitely ready for some time in nature.
If this trip through the US has taught me anything it’s that I would rather be in nature than a city any day of the week. While I do enjoy some of the conveniences of city living, I find that a week or so is my limit before I start craving a slower, simpler way of life.
After Vegas I needed to decompress and find my center again and hoped Yosemite would be the place to do it.
As we drove into the park the heady smell of pine needles replaced my anxiety with a grounded sense of calm. I am not making an original point when I say that nature is good for the soul, but I am still surprised with the immediacy with which it rejuvenates me when I’m feeling depleted.
The eight hour journey from Vegas melted into a distant memory as we picked up the keys to the amazing tree house where we would be ‘glamping’ for the next few nights.
If the simplicity of cooking our own meals again seemed like a luxury to me, imagine my excitement when Tyrhone took to the kitchen, allowing me to have a private sun-downer overlooking the forest.
The steak, greens, potatoes and jalapeno foccacia tasted far better than if I had made them myself. To top it off, Tyrhone even did the dishes. Yes, that happened.
The following morning we woke to the sounds of chirping of birds in the trees and sipped coffee on the deck while we planned our day.
We were both keen to get moving after being sedentary eating machines for the last few weeks and decided to hike the Upper Yosemite Falls trail for as long as we could handle it.
As we drove toward the trail head we caught a glimpse of our first jaw-dropping vista. It was different to any other landscape we had seen in the US so far; lush forest wedged between soaring cliffs and jagged peaks.
We began our hike, not thinking much about how far we would climb. We chose the ‘very strenuous’ trail to get our hearts racing and our lungs working again and the upward ascent delivered on all fronts.
It also delivered some amazing views which almost made me forget about my screaming muscles.
We passed the point we thought we were aiming for and while the hike was difficult for two fairly unfit travelers, we both welcomed the challenge.
The bright blue sky shone overhead as we were treated to the most amazing spectacle Mother Nature had to deliver. She showed off her might with soaring vertical rock faces, sculpted by time and streaked with ancient elemental brush strokes.
The further we rose, the more life we encountered, from birds, to lizards to enormous moss-covered tree trunks and more than a few squirrels.
We arrived at the Upper Yosemite Falls look out. I had pretty much reached my limit, as had my water bottle which was far lower than I wanted it to be. I told Tyrhone we should call it a day, but as usual, he was not easily convinced.
I tried the water angle, telling him that we did not have enough to get us to the next point and back down again, smacking my dry lips together for dramatic effect.
His response: “It’s okay to be thirsty, Jane. It’s good to go without.”
As much as I wanted to fight him on it, I knew he was right. I am always encouraging him to eat better and exercise more so I enjoyed seeing him relishing the challenge of the trail, especially since he had just eaten more hamburgers in a week than should be humanly possible.
We rationed our remaining sips of water and pressed onwards and upwards. We were rewarded with stunning scenery at every turn and the experience of being in a high altitude woodland on the top of a mountain..
I repeated the mantra “It’s okay to be thirsty,” over and over, making peace with my dry mouth as Tyrhone encouraged me to be in the moment and enjoy the experience.
When we stopped for a banana break, we both agreed it was THE BEST banana we ever had the pleasure of eating. Our one tiny sip of water tasted like nectar of the Gods.
We made it just past Yosemite Point after climbing a total of 3,000 feet over 4.5 miles and took a well deserved rest on a private rock-ledge. I forgot all about my dry mouth as I drank in the spectacular view of half dome and the surrounding peaks.
The descent took longer than we anticipated, but the water we gulped down when we reached the bottom tasted even better than we dreamed it would.
That night, as I soaked my strained muscles and aching joints in a huge claw-footed tub, I felt my sense of peace return, mingled with a dose of accomplishment and gratitude.
It dawned on me that in order to find my center I needed to venture to the outer edges of my comfort zone and remember that sometimes, it’s okay to be thirsty.
Thank you to Glamping Hub for connecting us to this wonderful experience and for teaching me that claw-footed tubs are not at ALL overrated.