By 6:30 am we had learned that Starbucks is the only place open at 4:30 in the morning, and that they have fantastic oatmeal for breakfast. I learned how to use the self timer on my camera, and my friends learned that I can still talk a mile a minute while driving on winding roads at an hour that on any other night I might be just getting into bed!
Jen,DaNae, Duane, Charisse, Shelley and Reed
At about this point we learned that we were not the only ones on the trail. There were posters at each bathroom along the trail warning us to watch out for the mountain lions. We also came across several little mosquito swarms, only to learn that not one of us had brought any bug spray!
Can you say WET? There is a reason they call this the Mist Trail!
As we climbed the cables we learned how tricky it could be for two people with backpacks, going opposite directions, to pass each other in the cozy 2 foot space between the cables on either side of you. We learned that strong arms and good shoes are critical. I watched a Gatorade bottle slip from a pack at the top of the cables and tumble down past us all the way off the cliff. It was hard not to recognize that was probably the same path a person could so easily take with just one wrong step.When we reached the top my mom and I learned that AT&T has coverage at the top of Half Dome! We couldn't resist a little bragging on our facebook status!
My mom and I felt tough for conquering The Rock, and were grateful for Reed and Shelley's invitation to join them on this journey.
We were all in high spirits enjoying the amazing view from the top, and the exhilaration of our feat until we felt a rain drop! The wind had picked up and brought in some nasty looking clouds.We learned just how quickly we could forget about lunch, and head for the hills! We didn't need to learn the hard way what it feels like to be clinging to metal cables on the side of a granite rock when a hail storm hits, and you can hear the thunder roaring through the valleys and rumbling off the mountains around you, but that's exactly what we did.
I learned it was much easier to head down the cables backwards, that my push ups had paid off and my arms were totally capable of holding me up while the granite was slick beneath my feet. I was surprised that I was not gripped with fear , but rather a calm yet urgent understanding that we needed to get down as quickly as possible. Because of a few mindless folks who insisted on continuing to climb up the cables during the storm, and one very nervous young lady paralyzed by fear and shoes with no traction, it took just over an hour to get to the bottom of the cables. Shelley learned how loved she is as these two angels helped her down the cables after some sincere prayer.
When my mom told us to hustle down the side of that rock we listened!
When he wasn't still waiting for us we decided to eat but couldn't find a place to sit that was dry, free from vomit or otherwise. So as we continued hiking with no meals since our Starbucks oatmeal 12 hours previously Reed dubbed the day Fast Monday.
When we finally did sit down to our pita pockets, hummus, pasta salad , crackers and cheese and the best salami ever, the only thing any of us wished for was an ice cold Diet Pepsi!About 2 hours later all we were wishing for was the end of the steep granite stairs!
We were done hiking sometime around 8pm, and Shelley and I insisted on getting T shirts announcing our accomplishment. It was an amazing day with the greatest friends! I learned a ton on this trip and I can't wait to do it again!