This weekend, I went to Fresno for my friend’s wedding. Not knowing much about the place I started looking up Airbnb's quick to realize it’s best known as a destination for people looking to hit up Yosemite. Yosemite was instrumental to the development of the national park concept and has been on my bucket list of places to visit since I developed an appreciation for conservation and nature.
My trip only allowed for one day of hiking so I did my best to take full advantage of it. I woke up just before sunrise, packed my bag with some snickers, water, bananas and hopped into my rental car. It was about a two-hour drive to the heart of the Yosemite Valley. The drive was beautiful with plenty of places to pull over and snap photos.
The best spot I found to pull over was at Tunnel View. From here you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background. This viewpoint is at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel along the Wawona Road (Highway 41). As you can see in the photos below, precipitation was in the forecast which didn’t bother me. In fact, it made me even more excited. Growing up trekking around the woods in Oregon, I have an appreciation for the rain. To me, it adds to the overall experience. If only I could bottle the scent of a rainy day in the woods and sell it. I’d call it Natural Elements™ by Fisk.
I’ve seen a million pictures of half dome and El Cap and most of them are on clear sunny days. With that in mind, I was very excited to arrive at this situation. Clouds were interacting with the iconic features of the park providing depth and bringing areas of visual interest forward that I imagine wouldn’t be noticeable on a bright sunny day. It was like every second I was looking at something new and exciting. After about an hour of staring at clouds (this guy), I decided I’d better get going, I did have some hiking to do after all.
The trail I decided to take is one of the most frequented trails in the park called Mist Trail. It was rated Medium, but bordering strenuous. I vote more on the side of strenuous considering it’s basically walking up stairs cut into the Cliffside for a few hours straight—felt great though! In total, I spent about 10 hours hiking, documenting, eating bananas and losing my mind!
Nature provides the best symmetry and balance and even though I only had one day to hike, I managed to leave feeling refreshed and inspired. I am already eager to get back, however, maybe next time I can trad climb some mountains rather than look at them from a distance.