On Monday I enjoyed a rest day. I drank red wine and watched movies and it was glorious. End of story.
But on Tuesday it was time to get in the car and drive to Yosemite. I’m staying in a tiny town west of the national park called Mariposa, just 1700 people live here but it’s perfect for me. It takes about an hour to drive to Yosemite, but considering how much driving I’ve been doing this summer I don’t think that’s too bad. I decided to head to Glacier Point, as the nurses at the hospital had told me that I needed to go there. I’m happy they did.
At a place called tunnel view, where you can look into the Yosemite valley. So pretty.
The main attraction at Glaciers Point is Half Dome which can be seen here to the left in the picture. It’s really, really cool and all the pictures I took almost look like paintings. I swear I didn’t do anything with them or use a backdrop, this is how the actual place looks. Amazing!
After having spent some time there I decided to just follow a trail and go on a little hike. It was very warm though and it didn’t turn out quite as small as planned. Also I didn’t realize that it was just downhill the entire way to the waterfall I walked to, but I sure noticed on the way back… some random man and I really struggled with the heat and the steep hills while his son basically bounced ahead. Ugh, kids… 🙂
After that strenuous hike I was all too ready to find somewhere to cool down, and luckily I drove past a stream with a lot of people swimming just a short while later. It was so nice and cool in the water.
On Wednesday I had done some research and decided to hike to a place called Mirror Lake. The pictures I saw from that place looked amazing so I parked and started walking. Well, after having embarrassed myself after asking a park ranger where to find water when I was standing right next to the pump…oh well. You can’t always succeed.
So this is what greeted me when I got there. It’s August and California is in a drought, maybe I should have done better research of the current conditions of the lake, since there wasn’t one. It was completely dried out. It was still good though, and so pretty.
Usually this rock is submerged in water.
But not to worry, there is still water in the park and as I hiked back a different trail I found this stream where I spent an hour reading and snacking. Perfect.
I walked around the entire valley but I still felt pretty tired so I decided to drive back to the hotel and rest instead. I read and swam in the pool and then treated myself to a really nice dinner. I love these tiny little towns so much, they’re calm and friendly and I actually prefer them to the giant cities.
Thursday was my last day in the park, and I knew that I wanted to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail during my stay here. The only problem is that it goes through the east part, a 2,5 hour drive from my hotel. I didn’t let that deter me though, as this was a dream of mine. It wasn’t that bad of a drive though, even if I still get annoyed with how stressed so many people are. There are huge signs about not speeding, and that 15 bears every year gets hit by speeding cars, and still people drive like maniacs. I hate it.
Oh well. I got there safe and sound at around 9:30, and was so giddy when I saw the PCT sign that I was bouncing.
It was a hot day and the trail was pretty packed later on in the day, but during the morning hours it was just me and a few other backpackers. Almost everyone else I met wore huge packs and were planning to be out for days, jealous! I didn’t meet any thru-hikers which is good, since they should be much further north now to make it in time before the snow. I did see a lot of deer though, and different types of squirrels and other rodents.
I decided to walk one way for two hours, so that it would become a 4 hour hike in total. When my two hours were up I was at this beautiful stream high up in the mountains, just simply breathtaking.
Such a fun day, I can’t believe that walking can be so much fun. But it’s like with cycling, it’s also such a simple pleasure. One day I want to come back and hike the entire trail. Hopefully. I do need to learn some basic wilderness survival skills before that though.
When I got back to Mariposa I headed straight to the hardware store to buy a saw so that I could saw off part of the brace. I really only need it on my hand and it’s so hot around my arm. Also people have started to really comment and ask about it and I don’t like it very much. But at least now it’s only around my hand which is where I need it so that’s good. It’s really such a huge help, more than I thought it would. The pain has decreased so much when I wear it so it’s definitely worth the hassle.
On Friday I’m heading back to San Francisco to meet my parents! I’m so excited, it will be so fun to travel with them for a while. They’ve been visiting relatives in Chicago this week, and this weekend we will be exploring San Francisco before heading down to Los Angeles. And there I once again will be seeing Taylor Swift in concert, and even though it’s the third time I’m seeing her this summer I’m so excited. Especially after receiving this VIP package in the mail today.
Another random thing happened too:
Dad: maybe you can get us upgraded in SF too.
Me: I don’t think so, it only works at Hiltons.
Dad: But we’re staying at a Hilton.
Me: We are? Which one?
Dad: Hilton Union Square.
Me: Are you kidding?? That’s where I stayed last weekend! I had no idea!
So random. Out of all the thousands of hotels in the bay area I will be staying at the same hotel twice without even knowing. I’m releasing all travel planning to my mother after tomorrow, it used to be her profession so she’s more than capable. I can go back to being a kid and not having any responsibility haha.
I’ve also been looking at what I should do when I get to Australia. I really have very little plans, except for the fact that I’m going to be staying with my friend Reese during the first time. He’s leaving for a while shortly after I arrive though, so I’m thinking about checking myself into some beachfront resort during that time. I might seem spoiled to say this considering how amazing my life is at the moment, but I’m so mentally exhausted. It’s been a great summer, but so draining and I just need to slow down some. So once I get to Australia that’s the plan – slow down. I’m sure I will have plenty of adventures in Australia as well, I can’t wait!