best of the west part 1

MAY 18th??!!  i haven’t posted since May 18th?  i am an unapolagetic disgrace to bloggers everywhere. 

ok well, moving on..

i got back from an 18 day road trip to california several weeks ago.  it was kind of an early vactaion; a trip to celebrate my friend aj’s graduation.  i’ve already forgotten a lot of what we did because EVERY day we met a potpourri of interesting people who, corporately, made the roadtrip memorable.  i think breaking it into days would be too tedious.  breaking it into states is too broad.  so let’s do geographical locations, in regional neghborhoods, so to speak.  we went about 5,000 miles, so this post will most assuredly be monumentally long.

first stop, bryce canyon national park.  it was overcast, but well worth the Nikon CDC 036stop.  aj had never seen it – i camped there last year.  Bryce is one of the greatest national parks in the world, in fact, known for the rock formations carved out by wind and rain erosion.  can anyone name the name of these formations without looking the word up on wikipedia?? 

next: Zion national parkNikon CDC 003when caleb camped in zion, he met a ranger on one of his hikes.  they started talking, and the ranger invited him to his house in the park.  so when we went, we got in touch with this guy (Brent the Birdman he calls himself) and had a blast staying in his old and charming stone house.  *memorable person #1.   We sat under the stars and felt the hugeness of the canyons in the dark.  What a great stay. 

Nevada – long and boring.  a couple billboards about area 51 and aliens and lots of dust.

Death Valley:  HOTTT!  my car has no AC, so when we repeatedly passed signs that stated “turn off air conditioning next 20 miles to preventNikon CDC 160 overheating”  we just laughed real hard and popped another ice cube from the bag we got (the best $2.99 i have ever spent).

Lone Pine:  look this place up.  famous for movies filmed because of the desert like atmosphere with the Sierra Nevada Mountain backdrop.  we saw a wierd looking theatre/museum coming into town, where we promptly stopped to investigate.  Hil-arious.  We came back later to see a showing of an old western i had never heard of that was filmed in the town, which was Awful, which is why i’ve never heard of it.  Desert Legions i believe.

that night was verrry windy, and when we got back to the campsite, my tent was no-where to be found.  Aj and i strapped our headlamps on, grabbed a lantern and some bear spray, and took off to find it.  10 min later, there it was lodged between 2 rocks, flapping erratically in the wind.  with much effort, we dragged it back to the campsite, wedged it in a big rock, weighed it down and examined it for tears, which i am proud to announce that we did not find.  go rei!  and that is the tale of the lost tent that was so funny and much more exciting if you had seen it happen in person.Nikon CDC 275

on our way up to Yosemite, we saw Bristlecone pines – the oldest living organisms on the planet, located in the white mountains.

and then there was Yosemite.  lots and lots and lots of tourists, ugh.  the 1st night we were there, all 500 or so campsites that were open were full.  except 1/2 the people weren’t camping – they hooked up their rv, set up the satelite dish, and settled in for a rough evening “camping”.    anyways…  we found a national forest campsite outside yosemite where there are a lot less bears and pitched the tent for the night. 

Nikon CDC 318the next morning, aj dropped me off at the trailhead for Half-Dome at 6 am, and i started the 16 mile hike.  mist trail is the most direct way – which shoud be called drench trail.  it is up the side of a waterfall and not a square inch of you is dry after climbing it.  when its dark and chilly, it’s not the best start to a long hike.  when i reached the part of half dome where you climb straight up with metal cables, the clouds in the sky looked ominous, and i had a little pow pow with myself.  thoughts going through my head:  “i just hiked 8 miles with a 5,000 foot elevation gain.  i’m 200 yds from the top of a rock with metal cables and it looks like a thunderstorm is rolling in, what’s the worst that could happen?”  ultimately, i decided that the clouds were moving fast, and i was going to summit anyways, so i better do it quickly.  if i didn’t summit, i would have hated myself for the entire hike down.  so i did.  and it was awesome.  and i did not get struck by lightning.  when i got down to the trailhead again, my legs felt like jello, and i was wiped out.  i was also proud of myself for hiking halfdome roundtrip in 8 hours.  that made the pain feel much better.

the rest of yosemite was beautiful, but crowed with lots of camera’s, tacky hats (the ones that people buy with the purpose of wearing on vacation because they have words like “moisture wicking”, but never wear again) and cars everywhere.  so, in conclusion, it would have been wonderful if i really felt like i was in the wilderness, but clearly i did not.  We did meet some cool people, however, had a good night camping, and enjoyed the majestic rock structures that are unlike any other in the U.S. 

Nikon CDC 400

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “best of the west part 1

  1. Bt

    I’m jealous. So beautiful!!

  2. Your pictures are awesome.

    I kept thinking of comments to add intermittently but then forgot as I kept reading. I do remember the last one though: Shame on you for using an apostrophe to indicate plurals in “camera’s.” I won’t tell anyone, but you’d better clean up your act, sister.

  3. You haven’t posted since JULY!! I need an update 🙂

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