There is definitely something to be said for traditions. I'm loving the ones we have created with this crew! If there is a day we all have free in the beginning of June and a trail open for hiking, we'll be there, you can count on it!
After forcing Kirsten to watch the sunrise with us, we'll stop at Starbucks for our usual oatmeal breakfast. We'll miss all of that crazy traffic in Oakhurst and be ready to hike bright and early.
Two years ago Reed was nearly struck by lightning after all of us scampered down the wet granite slope of Half Dome, last year snow blocked our trail to Eagles Peak, so we'll just count on the weather somehow messing with our plans and decide which trail to take when we get to the top and can see what we're working with this time!
Without fail, we will find someone who we recognize from afar as being a member of the church, and when we do, not only will Reed have a new BFF, but we will find that he has some random connection to them. Corey even had a connection to the couple we tried to befriend this time. Wherever we go, there is always someone, you can count on it!
The views are always amazing
And the granite walls still take my breath away!
We have come to count on finding an interesting hiker willing to take a picture of our group on the way up. We don't know if they'll be like last year's photographer and just want to sing the birthday song while taking a close up, or the professional hiker from Thailand with the Austrian accent, but you can always count on finding some interesting folks out on the trail!
We can always count on great conversations and a large dose of silliness. Some of us will undoubtedly be breaking in a new pair of shoes and Corey will wear his new broken in hat. I will make pasta salad and Corey will make cookies. And while we know that water would be better, diet sodas will abound.
We can usually count on our fellow hikers to be pretty friendly. Our photographer friend was willing to share his maps, but I'm pretty sure the wooden spoon is a left over compliments of the hairy, toothless, and aromatic volunteer crew! We could count on them being on break along the path almost every time we saw them.
I will always be in awe of the power of the water in the falls
And at the tranquillity of where it all begins
You can count on all of us wearing big smiles when we reach the top
and when we see just how far we've come!
No matter where you are in the park the view of Half Dome will always beg to be photographed. We may be using fun iphone apps, a little cannon elph, or our "real" cameras, but you can count on Kirsten, Shelley and I to happily oblige.
We will always agree that these stairs are faster, but much more brutal on the way back down.
You can count on a rainbow to be excuse enough for all of us girls to stop and take a few pictures.
Whether or not Pepito is at the tunnel to send us out of the park, the view from there will always entice us back. These days, in this beautiful place, with these friends, will always be some of my very favorites. Half Dome or Clouds Rest are next on the list, but no matter the trail, there are some things that are sure not to change, and I am glad I can count on it!