A Dry Day on the Mist Trail

My aching calves remind me of the several hundred natural stair steps I climbed yesterday while hiking the ever-popular Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park. Additionally, randomly scattered furniture in my house reminds me of the friends who spent the night here in preparation for our hike.

The excitement for this trip grew for me over the past few weeks as a good friend in Davis helped plan transportation and other logistic details. Incredulity rivaled my excitement, however, because this occasion marked the first time that any of my college friends have come to my hometown to visit. Having Yosemite so close helped in this case, but I still could not believe that thirteen people wanted to drive down, go out to dinner, and spend the night with me here in this town.

We showed up at Applebee’s requesting seating for fourteen people, to which the waitress asked, “So, what’s the occasion?” We wondered if we could give someone an extra birthday celebration this year, but thought better of it and simply told her there was nothing extraordinary about the event. To me, this event required marveling and wonder, but to her, the reason, “They all came to visit so we can hike several miles tomorrow” might not sound too enthralling.

In any event, we managed to get everyone in for dinner, a spot to sleep, and a fantastic breakfast of French toast in the morning, compliments of my father whose practice making dozens of breakfasts at The Salvation Army finally found another useful application. We pulled breakfasts together, complete with the dessert I’d made the day before –brookies (half brownie, half cookie, and completely delicious), pulled everything together, and set off in search for some misty scenery

Vernal Falls and I made friends in June of 2008 when the mist on its final 300 granite stair steps pounded us and the waterfall left us in awe. Hiking this same trail in September 2012 was still beautiful, but so dry that the rocks had accumulated a decent layer of dirt. The weather still felt comfortable compared to our late summer Central Valley heat, but it was Nevada Falls and the view from the top that really made the hike for me this go-around. We saw a bobcat lurking between some rocks on our way back down, and watched the sun set over the California foothills on our way back down from the Park.

The day ended around 8:00 when my friend Holly and I eased off the freeway onto the back country roads on the outskirts of town. We sang with the radio, windows down and voices high, smiling at the sight of a rainbow spectrum receding from the sky in the lights that guarded our homes. Daisy and the dogs greeted me happily, and I gratefully showered before slipping into bed, one more adventure completed.