Yosemite: A field journal

“This was the longest day ever. I want you to think about that because everyday will seem this long.” – Maria

You have not begun the large part of your traveling, but you did go on vacation last weekend. You and Maria decided to head to the mountains and spend a few days backpacking in Yosemite before meeting up with your dad and family friends for car-camping near Bishop, Ca.

“Right now, you are laying inside the tent next to a near comatose Maria. This has been one of the most difficult, arduous journeys of your life and you finally have some time to rest.”

It all started with a phone call to the park ranger after carefully inspecting the trail list from the Yosemite National Park Website.

Me: “So, are there wilderness passes for the Upper Falls trail?”

Ranger: “Oh yeah, plenty.”

Me: “Why? does this trail suck or something?”

Ranger: “No…it’s gorgeous…it’s just….difficult.”

Well, your girlfriend is a fitness trainer, so if she can’t do this then she should quit her job (her words, not yours) and you’re up for a challenge. Enter: the hardest thing you have ever done in your life.

You started crying a little over an hour after you started. To be fair your pack was way, way too heavy. Thankfully, Maria came to the rescue and put the heavier items in her pack and gave you a bunch of clothes.

Ah, much better. But not really. This hike is as close to vertical as you can get. It is a 2,7000ft elevation gain over 3 miles. Imagine climbing steep cement stairs for 3 and a half hours with a 40lb backpack on. You and Maria seemed to be the only people crazy enough to attempt this. Literally everyone else you saw was wearing and carrying the bare minimum. Shorts, hiking boots, and water. Only about 8 of the 20 or so people you encountered even had shirts on.

There were several points on the journey when you really didn’t think you could go on. You hardly spoke the entire way up, expect for breaks, it was that challenging. 

To be fair, though, you were glad you were doing it. Even when you cried and even when you felt like you were moving through wet concrete. It was literally one step at a time. You just told yourself “one more step.”

Then as if on cue, “Twitching With Twight” entered your mind. This is an article written by Mark Twight, the founder of Gym Jones. You read it once in high school and then once again right when you decided to quit your job. A particular quote entered your mind around 6,000ft.

“Aren’t you sick of being tempted by an alternative lifestyle, but bound by chains of your own choosing? Each weekend you prepare for the two weeks each summer when you wake up each day and really ride, or climb; the only imperative being to go to bed tired.”

Well damn. You dropped the chains and were face-to-face with your alternative lifestyle as it beat you senseless the entire way up that mountain.

Mission accomplished. You were fucking exhausted.

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