Half Dome Day 2: Yosemite

Today was all about rest and relaxation. We needed to keep our legs moving, but nothing long or strenuous, the following day would be the tough one.  We caught a quick breakfast and then tracked down our good friends Mitch and Rebecca. All collected we did our own little tour of the valley. In my last visit Jose and I had seen most of the sights. Jenn though hasn’t been since she was a little girl, so we made the rounds. First stop was the Curry Camp Meadow walking out to the Merced River.

On our way Mitch spotted a praying mantis making his way across the raised wood path. Rebecca freaked out when I got the guy to crawl on my hand to give us an easier vantage point for shooting and a close look. Luckily I had my 24-105 with me for the day which can focus as close as I think 6″ at full zoom giving a great closeup of the fellow.

After some time along the river we headed back to Curry Village for some water and items for the rest of the day and then off to Yosemite Falls. Though as it turns out the falls were dry. That didn’t stop foreign tourists from posing for shots in front of it to our confusion.

By now it was lunch time, and Yosemite Lodge was our next stop. Nothing to write home about but by now we were all pretty sleepy. I didn’t sleep well the night before because of all the noise, and tonight wasn’t going to be any different though a lot more important.

After lunch we headed back to camp for a nap. While waiting for the bus Jenn got a call from her sister. Alyssa was planning on coming since we applied for our permits in February and got our confirmation in April. She hadn’t put much into preparation because she was busy with starting grad school, and we’d done what we could to fill in the gaps. I’d bought her gloves and put together a carabiner and camelbak pack, and we’d arranged for a tent with extra beds. Her friend Robyn had wanted to join us as of a month or so ago, but the Thursday night lottery turned up a bust since our summit date happened to be a free park day which generated a ton of interest. We had been expecting Alyssa had left nearly 2 hours before, but she told Jenn she hadn’t left and wasn’t feeling up for coming since Robyn wasn’t going to be guaranteed to summit with us and she didn’t want to drive alone. Jenn told her it was ok but I could tell it had made her really sad. It was Jenn’s bday trip and her sister wasn’t coming. I wasn’t too surprised because her sister didn’t seem quite as invested as the rest of us, but it was a shock to Jenn who kept saying she didn’t expect that would happen. I hate situations like this that make her sad because there isn’t really anything I can do to fix it. We couldn’t kick someone out of our party when they were all already here and had been on board since the start. I figured someone wouldn’t make the summit, but that wasn’t a guarantee enough.

After a refreshing nap it was already dinner time! Where did the time go? We had hoped to go up to Glacier Point for sunset, but by the time we got ourselves together it was already late. Our 5th and last member of our party Sara was just arriving now and we couldn’t find Rebecca and Mitch. We had dinner with Sara and helped her setup her camp and then picked up last minute supplies and finished making up our packs for the day. Our 5am wakeup meant an early bed time.

It was hard to sleep though, not just for the noise I expected but the excitement. I’d determined last time I was here I’d tackle Half Dome and come out the victor.

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