Hello! I'm back from the mighty Yose. I had a great time. It was just overnight, but man, oh man, it was so what I needed. I didn't want to come back, but I had to work yesterday so I did. Today I took a vacation day, no plans made for today originally (since I didn't know if I would have a car or not) but tonight I'm having dinner and then a movie with girlfriends.
We drove up Friday- oops, I forgot to mention, who "we" are. "We" are Alyson, Melissa, Carlos, and me. We drove up Friday and met up with the rest of our crew: Belinda, Jeremy, Terra, and Belinda's parents. We also hooked up with some climbers from town who wanted to join us. It was all good. We set up camp, and sat by the camp fire for a while. (There is a side story here that I'm saving for another post).
Oh the stars!!! The stars!!!! I love looking at the stars!!! Every year I take the kids (my sister's kids) up the hill to look at the stars. I didn't last year, because optimum time was during my cousin Tony's wedding so we missed out. So it's been a while since I'd seen them.
After star-gazing, we went to bed. I forgot my beenie cap, so my head was a little cold. Other than that, sleep went well. I woke up at 5:30, out of habit, and tried to stay quiet as long as possible. I got up, walked around, sat outside in the quiet for a while as long as I could, before it was time to really get up and attack the day's objectives.
Everything sounds different up there, everything smells different, everything looks different. When I'm up there, my mind calms down, and I can simply be. I like that thought: simply be. I loved that quietness of the morning. Reminds me of when I used to get up early and have a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise.
Okay, now, the reason I was there in the first place. It was National Trails Day and some of us from REI had volunteered to go to Yosemite to pick up trash on the trails. We got in for free and was allowed to camp in the valley for free too.
After breakfast, which was provided to us, we split up into teams and were each assigned a section of the Valley Floor Loop. My team worked on the section that runs under El Capitan, just around two miles. My team included my friend Melissa, Belinda's parents, a couple from San Jose, and a kid working towards his Eagle Scout. We had fun, got great views of climbers on the big wall, and found some odds and ends stuff. Mostly ciggarette butts, small candy wrappers, kleenex. Best find goes to the pair of discarded men's underwear and a pair of flip-flops.
Done by noon, we headed back to camp for lunch, which was also provided to us. Sloppy Joe's, which were surprisingly good.
-End of part one-
I'm just publishing what I have so far because I don't want to take forever. I'll finish tomorrow-ish. I've already uploaded some pictures, but not all. I'll provide a link again, when they are done.