The High Country of Yosemite

by Jessica Ehlers, August 2, 2010

Yosemite 2010.  It was an epic trip.  My climbing buddies from our J-Tree adventure, some of their siblings, my son and of course, our climbing guide.  We arrived a lot later than anticipated to our campsite in Tuolomne Campground.  Quiet time is stated @ 10pm.  We didn't get in until after that but were luckily able to pop up the 6 person tent in no time.  Sorry to those that were camping next to us.  (You think I say that figuratively unless you've been there.  If you have you of course know that those campsites next to ours were actually in our laps.  Makes it nice and cozy.)

The sunlight coming in on our first morning out there.  Roughly 7am.  I was yawning but as always, he was up an at em bright and early.

After getting everyone organized (Ha!), we headed over to Puppy Dome for some rappelling, some climbing and some chilly-ass river-swimming.

New buddies.  Each waiting for a turn on the crack.  And in a few moments, after I charge my way up, my little boy ties in.  Makes a mom proud.

He listens intently to the story our friend tells him how in Europe, climbers climb in pairs and are always there for each other to give them a lift.

The photo I did not upload is one I did not take but shows myself piled atop our guide with my boy standing on my back and another friend of ours trying to convince the little man that the crack is totally do-able.  He had other ideas.  Such as, "No way." and "Get me off this thing!"

Then we spent the remainder of the afternoon lounging in the sun on the beautiful granite boulders near a loud and crystalline waterfall.  Never mind that the water was in fact, liquid nitrogen.  Our limbs thawed out eventually.

Later, we all trekked down the road to Olmsted point for some Mate, some coffee and some more hiking, this time without ropes. Unfortunately you cannot see that Half Dome is actually directly behind me.  You'll just have to trust me.  You trust me, right?

We were sitting there at Olmsted, drinking coffee and Mate and then there was this amazing slab in front of us.  I thought I'd be content to chill but instead we climbed to the top.  The little guy did great.  Who knew his frog boots would be so great on granite.  FYI.

The next day my climbing buddies went here and I opted to sit that one out, agreeing that taking my boy to Tenaya Lake was a better use of our time in Yosemite together.  We built sand castles and had a picnic and enjoyed the sun and the perfect weather.

I want to go back there.

Our last morning there, he has me build him a little friend out of sticks and pine cones.  He was excited that he placed all the teeth in his new buddies mouth.  Very thoughtful, as always.

And after wrapping up our tent, packing up all our gear, we hit the Lake one last time on our way home.  This is the little man and his new friend, chillin in the water.

There is still time to see Yosemite this season so if you have never been, consider it.  More than consider it.  Go.  There is no place like it and the High Country is truly majestic.  There are huge gaps where the Glaciers used to be.  You can see their absence, hanging in the sky like some unspoken truth.

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