August 10, 2010

Solid As A Rock

Our trip to Yosemite and hiking Half Dome

We're going to the TOP! Yes, to the top of that!!

Hike Day: Up at 4:00am! Quick breakfast of hard boiled eggs, bagel and oranges. On the trail by 6:00am. We filled our water bottles & packed granola bars, trail mix, apples, sandwiches & more. It's going to be a long day and we can't be hungry on the mountain. We also packed band aids & good old handy duct tape. Off we go... With Half Dome - in the back ground, we're well on our way!

Michelle wants to make sure everyone see the warning sign! "DANGEROUS - SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH" Why are we going to the top?? Because we can! Because we're amazing! :) Nothing can stop us. We read our scripture theme again: Helaman 5:12

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
I LOVE that!

They are called the “Granite Stairs”. But we called them “the CLIFFS OF INSANITY!” :) The photo does not do justice to how incredibly STEEP these “stairs” were. People warned us that they were difficult and they weren’t exaggerating. These stairs are carved out of the granite; they were straight up and went right along the edge of cliffs that dropped 100’s of feet below!

We finally arrived at the top of the Granite Stairs… relieved & exhausted but so proud, only to find ourselves facing the giant, daunting, yea, even almost threatening Half Dome! It was 
crowded the day we were there, which made it even more difficult, as we had to wait to go up and then while, literally hanging on the mountain, holding on for dear life to the cables, we had to wait more for people who were too weak or too afraid to move forward. It really added to the difficulty.

We all grabbed onto the cables and started our climb up. Again, the photos don’t do justice, because what these photos fail to show is that on every side around us the mountain drops to steep cliffs 1000’s of feet below. There were several times where I had to focus and not allow fear to enter into my head: once someone dropped their water bottle. It went tumbling past us dropping over the edge. And you seriously thought “Oh my gosh! That could have been a person!” Then someone’s camera went flying by crashing over the cliff. Oh boy!

Yipee! We made it to the TOP! We think we’re pretty studly. We are! It was a TUFF climb, a long hike, but worth every painful step, every scary thought, every strenuous, grueling stride. The view was spectacular! Heavenly

Back down the mountain we went… Jaren ran most of it! He darted between the trees and the trail like an elk. :) Oh, to be 17 and in great shape! Doug and I actually ran a bit, but we’re old so we didn’t last very long and we certainly could not keep up with Jaren. We finally reached the half way point again. This time we took off our shoes and soaked our poor aching feet in the cold river. It felt soooo good! You can see all my duct tape, trying to avoid blisters. Our feet were sore and dirty. We were working and hiking hard!

Surprisingly, the hike down was almost as difficult as the hike up! Perhaps, partly, because we were tired & sore & blistered at this point! But in spite of the pain it was incredible and absolutely beautiful! We wouldn’t change a thing, well, except maybe a few blisters.

10 Hour… 18 miles… 4800 steep feet gain… 8850 feet elevation… blisters… sore feet… and tired legs later, we were done! Impressive! What a great accomplishment.

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