Yosemite. Oh Yosemite. You have shown me things I could previously hardly have comprehended to be real.
Walking into Yosemite was nice. An easy meadow lead to a little store with a burger. A juicy, savory burger can brighten any hiker's day. Our crew had decided to finish out the last leg of the John Muir Trail, which consisted of an extra 22 miles down to Yosemite Valley, a place famous for its beauty. On our way down we decided to stop and take another detour to climb Half Dome.
Few experiences in my life have compared to the adventure that was climbing Half Dome. For starters, it's hard enough to be a good workout but short enough that, as a thru-hiker, it wasn't exactly exhausting.
About 200 yards before the peak you encounter these cables at waist height going up the rest of the peak. You have to pull yourself up what I would guess was a 70 degree incline the rest of the way. Not recommended for those with a fear of heights, but I had a blast.
As we reached the top, my jaw dropped. The splendor we witnessed on that giant granite peak was mind blowing. The high Sierra had been gargantuan and and awesome. Yosemite, however, was majestic. Golden hour is like this whole new thing from up there. To top it off, there were a couple a climbers on the peak's face a mere 50 ft from the top. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement.
As we descended Half Dome and then further into Yosemite Valley the next morning the awe had not worn off. I hope it never does.