Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Half Dome

We were joined by Gurmukh, Sukhvinder's brother, whom I haven't seen since he was in middle school. He's more fun now. ;) We had good Thai food for lunch and reacquainted after he rescued Marc and I from our long walk.

That night our entire group gathered together (The Fellowship of the Cables, because, yes, we are that geeky) and made the journey down to Yosemite with another stop for delicious Indian food. Mmm. Yummy food....

We had far too much fun in our car, but arrived at our hotel in a relatively timely manner. The Wawona (or as Marc said, "Vavona") was just fine for the few hours we had to rest our weary if giddy heads. In the morning we ate a good breakfast and hit the trail after a few minor setbacks.
Above, is Gurmukh posing on the hotel porch. Below are Marc and Sukhvinder. So cute.
If you look closely, you can see the steps carved into the granite. That's mostly what we climbed for seven miles Straight Up. And then seven miles straight down.
But it was beautiful. And totally worth a little pain.
That little ribbon you see was the trail. Steep. It was worse coming back down in the dark with two teeny tiny flashlights. (Oops.)

The Verizon bars! a.k.a. Sunny, Gurmukh, and Marc:
Marc, Patrick, Gurmukh, and Bobby taking a brief rest:
Sunny and Sukhvinder are so cute! They held hands for about two miles on the way back down, but I couldn't get a picture of it because we were trying to cover as much ground as possible before nightfall.  Still, there's a lovely picture of it in my head. 

The incredible view from the almost top. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice:

"All we really are is squirrels."

Almost to the top! I climbed all the way up, except for that last little pointy piece that people need cables to get up. I was done at that point and knew that if I tried to go up the cables, I wouldn't have enough left to make it back down the mountain.
See the little ants climbing up the mountain? People climbing up the cables:
Sukhvinder looking radiant with the Half Dome behind her:

Bobby, Marc, Sukhvinder, and Patrick looking tired but happy after coming safely back down the cables:
Me, feeling quite satisfied with myself for not falling off the mountain on the way up.
It is not an easy hike. My midwestern lungs did not love the high altitude. But my muscles held up just fine. I didn't feel completely awful until the next day. (Sitting in a cramped airline seat is not a good way to keep one's sore body limber after a long hike.) Still, I'm really glad I did it. I don't think I need to do anything that challenging again. Shorter and steep or longer and flat is fine.

Now that I've spent the last year doing intense endurance training and my body is ridiculously bulky, it's time to change up my routine, lose the bulk and slim back down. Thanks, big muscles. You've served me well, but I don't need you quite so big anymore.

So, this is one more thing to check off my TTIWTDBID list. CHECK MARK!!!


Anne Marie said...

Looks absolutely amazing. So glad you did it.

joan said...

I'm incredibly impressed, oh Awesome One. I'm glad you took such great pictures because I will certainly never get a firsthand look at those views!

Emilia said...

Thanks, ladies. I'm glad I did it, too. I'll be more glad when I can walk up and down the stairs without wincing. ;)

Beth said...

Congratulations!! What an amazing trip. I am very glad that your muscles held up and that you didn't fall off and die on any of those cliffs.

The Fearless Five said...

Very impressive! Way to go! You SHOULD be proud. Wish I could have loaned you my eyes so I could get a first hand view. It looks amazing. --kris-anne

Emilia said...

Kris-Anne!!! Hi! Great to see you! How are your hubby and kids?!