Finding My Center in Yosemite

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.

Treehouse Yosemite

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.

Treehouse cooking

Yosemite sundownerSunset Yosemite

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.

Glamping cooking Yosemite

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.

Coffee glamping Yosemite

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.

Rest stop Yosemite falls trail

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.

Tyrhone Yosemite fallsThe 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.

Yosemite cliffsThe further we rose, the more life we encountered, from birds, to lizards to enormous moss-covered tree trunks and more than a few squirrels.

Yosemite squirrelWe 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.

Yosemite fallsWe 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.

Yosemite Point View

Sarah Somewhere Yosemite Point

Feet Yosemite Point

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.

bathtub glampingIt 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.

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Finding My Center in Yosemite — 27 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you had an ace time in Yosemite too. It’s a pretty amazing place and I enjoyed it even more the second time around.

    It’s great to be outside, walking and enjoying nature again. I didn’t realise how much I missed it.

    He did dishes? No? Really? I don’t know this man anymore, this country is changing him.
    Kellie recently posted..12 TIPS TO HELP YOU FACE CHALLENGESMy Profile

    • Ha! Yes, it was like we entered an alternative universe or something! Don’t worry, it was a one-off! :-) Yes, it was absolutely amazing and I didn’t want to leave!

    • Hi Kendra! Yes, I know that sometimes we take our own ‘backyards’ for granted! Especially it is such a large and diverse backyard! I hope you get out there at some point, and I highly recommend northern Arizona too :-)

  2. Man oh man, could you make me want to visit Yosemite even more desperately? I love the story in your hike, and the metaphor present in forgetting that you have limits and seeing what you can achieve. Especially when the view is so, so, so worth it.
    Lindsey recently posted..The Kit of the Travelling WriterMy Profile

  3. The smell of pine trees, the taste it brings to your mouth; the tranquility of the bush; the spectacular views that have been created over time, and the aching muscles that go with such hikes. Bliss!!! (Hey, but make sure you travel with more water than you think you’ll need … its a rule!!) Your hike looks so uplifting, and fondly reminds me of your mum hiking, pressing on for miles with a ‘bung knee’. I’m sure her mantra was something like “it doesn’t hurt at all, we’ll soon be in Pemberton anyway! See, you have some of her genes! Can’t go wrong.

    • I was actually thinking about that on the day!!!! We are so on the level Penny :-) Multi day trips like that are so, so challenging but so worth it. The last one I did was Rinjani Volcano on Lombok, and my oh my it was tough (and also one of the best experiences of my life). Will definitely be more water conscious from now on! xoxo

  4. If the hike was so strenuous, why is your tee shirt not covered in sweat and your face all red ? That’s how it looks when I hike up a mountain :) That is a lot of vertical elevation gain in a short amount of distance — wow!!!

  5. Pingback: Yosemite in style - Tell them I said something: The Travel Blog

  6. Isn’t that area just lovely! We were on the back side of Yosemite in May, staying in the June Lake Loop areas we crossed the Sierra Nevada’s..just glorious. But glamping indeed :)

  7. How cool! Every time we’ve looked into going to the west of the US, Yosemite has been a must. But our plans have never come together so I haven’t had the chance to see it. I can’t wait to get there eventually, it looks so awesome.

    And claw footed bathtubs are the shit. 😀
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