****written while curled up in bed drinking coffee and listening to the rain****
I hope this post finds you well. It’s turning into fall here in SC and I’m loving the cooler weather. At least in the mornings…it’s still getting up to 85 during the day. I know this post is delayed…but Scott is deploying soon so I’m using all that free time with him instead of writing so these posts are written in pieces.
Enough excuses! Here’s our adventure in Yosemite and how he proposed!
Ok…so now Scott was allowed to relax for a few hours as we tried to solidify our plans for Yosemite. We didn’t have any reservations or permits, so it wasn’t looking like it was going to be a successful trip for us. You need to book them months in advance and camping fills up just as fast. But we went anyways.
We started the day off early with hopes we could beat the crowds. As we drove in, there was a ton of smoke covering the mountains. We almost turned around it was so bad. Scott was pissed. Thankfully, we didn’t go back because the fog was slightly lifted and we could see why Yosemite is so popular (note pictures will not do it justice).
We went to the camping reservation office and learned all the good grounds were full. The ranger recommended we put our names on the lottery and come back at 2 to see if we got a spot. We felt lucky, so instead of going to a confirmed spot outside the valley, we hoped we would get one inside.
We had the whole day to poke around the park so we would be back in time for the drawing. So we checked out Bridal Veil falls. The view wasn’t good enough for me so we scaled boulders and got as close as we could. It was nice because a lot of the crowds wanted nothing to do with anything athletic.
We hurried back to the camping office and stood in line for the lottery. With the amount of people there, it wasn’t looking good. However, it turns out if you get there early enough you beat the crowds and guess what…we got a spot!
The camp grounds are super nice and come complete with bear proof bins because bears are a huge problem in Yosemite. I was worried about them until I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. What do you do when you run into a bear? I have no clue. Scott was nice enough to wake up with me so I didn’t get eaten.
We started early because we thought we could beat the rangers and still get up Half Dome without a permit. Cheryl (Scott’s mom) had recommended we go to Clouds rest instead so we didn’t get fined but Scott insisted on Half Dome (somehow he’d done it before without permits, but I think it’s gotten more popular). The hike up is gorgeous. Big ass waterfalls keep you distracted from the incline and altitude gain (mostly felt in your butt cheeks).
We thought we were so clever waking up earlier than the rangers. Until we ran into one reminding people about permits…because apparently they sleep in the mountains (lucky bastards). So we upped our pace and started asking people we passed if we could get on their permits. Everyone’s passes we full. It was getting disheartening. I didn’t want to go to half dome only to be turned around. We ran into some more rangers and asked about the permits. They said we wouldn’t be able to go up and recommended Clouds rest instead. No permit required, terrain is easy and we had enough food. It would only be an additional 8 miles. Challenge accepted.
We didn’t see anybody on the way up. And when I say up, a mean a million switchbacks. I used to make fun of people with hiking poles…until I needed something to keep my legs for burning and got a stick. It actually helps and I take back all the teasing and comments about not being athletes.
Scott was getting crabby and was worried there wouldn’t be anyone to take our picture at the top. I wasn’t worried. I’m good at capturing us by balancing my phone on my backpack. He was turning into a cranky human and I was blaming it on how the easy terrain was actually all the way up hill. I kept telling myself it would be worth the pain.
It was. We finally made it up to the top to be treated with not only a view of Half Dome but 360 degree views of the Sierras. The beauty will floor you.
We ate lunch then picked out the perfect place for a picture. Scott gave his phone to some people soaking in the view (there were a ton of people up there) and he came back to get a shot with me. I turn and he drops down to one knee. For a second I didn’t know what he was doing (did he drop something?) then it hit me.
He goes to put the ring on my finger and I realized my hands were so swollen from hiking (this is the first time I ever realized this happened….and I’ve done plenty of hikes) that it only made it past the first knuckle…but it didn’t matter. The joy was overwhelming.
It took a few hours but the swelling in my hands went down. So here’s the ring shot.
Siiiiighhhh. Reliving that adventure makes me so happy. I hope this post finds you well.