Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Hike in Muir's Heaven

With this journal being started in November of 2012, I would like to take a look at some of the trips that I've endulged on previously in 2012. We will start in the spring and work our way up to the present. So please allow me to take a look back at 2012 beginning with an early April hike in Yosemite.

"Never mind. The mountains are calling; run away, and let plans and parties and dragging lowland duties all 'gang tapsal-teerie.' We'll go up a canyon singing your own song, 'Good-by, proud world! I'm going home,' in divine earnest. Up there lies a new heaven and a new earth; let us go to the show."        -   John Muir

In early April, with this advice in mind, I thought I would go for a day hike up to the snow fields before they disappear. But I must say that hiking out of Yosemite Valley is just pure nuts! Sure it’s beautiful, but since the valley walls are pretty much straight up, so are all the trails. I gained 2,500 feet elevation in 4 miles with the first half consisting of 50 switchbacks. Like I said, crazy!

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountain air. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storm's air energy, while cares will drop off, like autumn leaves."    -   John Muir

Half way up began the snow. Nice to walk on, only sinking an inch or two for now.

Needed to switch to snow boots and shoes for the last half mile. Before this, the hike was getting the best of me. For the half mile before this it was the whole 10 steps, rest, 10 steps, rest, sorta thing. Time for a break.

Made it! Four hours to Stanford Point.

"...and here the far-famed valley came suddenly into view throughout almost its whole extent. The noble walls - sculpted into endless variety of domes and gables, spires and battlements and plain mural precipices - all a-tremble with the thunder tones of the falling water. The level bottom seemed to be dressed like a garden - sunny meadows here and there, and groves of Pine and Oak; the river of Mercy sweeping in majesty through the midst of them and flashing back the sunbeams. The great Tissiack, or Half Dome, rising at the upper end of the valley to a height of nearly a mile, is nobly proportioned and life-like, the most impressive of all the rocks, holding the eye in devout admiration, calling it back again and again from falls or meadows, or even the mountains beyond - marvelous cliffs, marvelous in sheer dizzy depth and sculpture, types of endurance. Thousands of years have they stood in the sky exposed to rain, snow, frost, earthquake and avalanche, yet they still wear the bloom of youth."     -   John Muir

El Capitan

"Nearly all the upper basin of the Merced was displayed, with its sublime domes and canyons, dark upsweeping forests, and glorious array of white peaks deep in the sky, every feature glowing, radiating beauty that pours into our flesh and bones like heat rays from fire. Sunshine over all; no breath of wind to stir the brooding calm. Never before had I seen so glorious a landscape, so boundless an affluence of sublime mountain beauty. The most extravagant description I might give of this view to any one who has not seen similar landscapes with his own eyes would not so much as hint its grandeur and the spiritual glow that covered it."      - John Muir

Shadows gettin' long. Time to head down.

Found this campsite on the way down. Good spot for some dinner.

Got a little crafty and made some Incense Cedar chop sticks for some ramen.


"Yosemite Park is a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust and weary, nervous, wasting work of the lowlands, in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind. Your animal fellow-beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers; even one learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds. This one noble park is big enough and rich enough for a whole life of study and aesthetic enjoyment. It is good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleanses and warms like fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree."      - You know who

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