Up at 06h00 to get ready and organized!!!Breakfast at 7am, and we were in the bus to drive out to Yosemite National Park by 08h00.The drive took about 45 minutes, and was really awesome.Wayne had on one of his 'morning' CDs, which was really peaceful, calming music - almost spiritual, and I felt really at peace, and in awe of the creation around me and how awesome God's hand in creation is!!!What a beautiful place!!!I felt really energized and encouraged to achieve all I set out to do that day!!!
We stopped off at El Capitain for photos of the awesome granite rock faces surrounding us with cascading waterfalls crashing down out of sight behind lush foliage.I really can't describe the incredibleness of the scene, hopefully the photos do it justice, but don't think so.Take a look, but if anyone takes a trip to the west coast of the US, Yosemite National Park is a must in my book!!!Next stop was another photo op at Half Dome.
Next we drove through Curry village so Wayne could show us our meeting place for dinner that night, and then we headed out to Camp 4 which was our starting point for our hike up to Yosemite Upper Falls (for the mountain goats), and the Lower Falls for the non mountain goats.I knew I wasn't heading up to the top of the falls, so I hung back and let the youngsters go ahead!! JI was in a team with Dan, Maxine & Dawn.None of us were very fit, nor avid hikers, so we took it at our own pace, and when one needed to stop for a rest, we all stopped and kept encouraging each other and took it slow.After a short while up the steep switch backed incline Maxine had to stop, as her asthma started flaring up, so her & Dan turned back.I wanted to keep going as far as I could, so Dawn stuck with me, and we kept going.The killer part of the hike was the sheer steepness of the trail.It was a 40 degree angle so the legs really took strain.We stopped for a quick recharge, and shared an orange for a burst of energy.Re-energized, we continued on.Wayne came past us, and we advised him that Dan & Maxine had turned back.He headed back down to check they were ok, and a short while later, he was back with us, and kept us company for the next leg of our trek.We came to an opening in the foliage and a section of the waterfall where you could wet your hair, so I took advantage and soaked my hair in the ice cold water - wonderful and refreshing.The next section of the trail was even steeper, about a 50 degree angle - but we'd come this far and we just took it slow!!!We then reached the next clearing - Colombia Rock!!! I had made it!!!What an achievement for me!!!I was so proud of myself!!!Wayne then continued on to join the others, and Dawn & I stopped to have our lunch.The hostel had made us a great packed lunch with deli meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo & mustard on a roll & a piece of fruit.We sat and enjoyed the awesome view as we ate our lunch.After half an hour break, we began our downward journey back to the bottom.Now if you think the angle of the upward hike was an issue, it was just as much of an issue coming down, cos my toes were squashed into the front of my trainers from being pushed in by the angle of the trail.We made it down to the bottom in just under an hour and it really felt great!!!My feet on the other hand didn't feel all that great!!!
Dawn & I headed to Curry Village where we thought we'd meet up with Dan & Maxine.We stopped and had a drink on the deck of the pizza parlor, then took a walk into Yosemite village where we took a look at Ansel Adams gallery - incredible photographer who has captured some of the scenes of Yosemite National park through every season - really incredible.www.anseladams.com.
The four of us then walked around the park, and took a couple of photos.The rest of the group was due to meet up at the Pizza parlor at Curry Village at 6pm, so we headed back there to wait for them.Hokee and Robert were back, so we looked at their photos of the top at Upper Falls - really great!!The others all arrived back, and we ordered pizzas.Everyone felt great, and it was an awesome day of hiking.We drove back to our hostel, had a quick shower and all met up at Dan & Maxine's pad for drinks.Robert missed out on the festivities, as he apparently passed out on his bed when he got back to his dorm - think the jet lag finally caught up with him.The rest of us enjoyed a couple of drinks and puzzled over Joanne's "cups" game!!!Eventually we figured it out, and finally got to bed around 11pm.What an awesome day!!!