Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Three Days and Counting....

At least the sky is improving. Top picture is at 12:30 this afternoon. I've been checking the park site and NOAA, things should definitely be clearer by Friday. I'm getting soooooooo excited!!!!!!
This bottom picture is at 3:45 this afternoon. It's looking good. Wow, I can't believe we're at three days!!!! Sigh, I'm excited.

Today I made a promise to Carlos, owner of my favorite Half Dome video, that if I made it to the base of the cables, that I would continue on. It's a promise that I really want to keep.

I feel that as my days are winding down, that my posts are getting lamer and lamer. They are. It's because I am running out of things to say. Do you have any questions for me? I guess if you want, you can ask me any questions about my trip and I'll try to answer before I go. I really can't think of anything else.

Love, Yvette

Monday, September 29, 2008

Four Days and Counting....

See this picture? This is a web cam shot from today!!!! Not cool, not cool. This sucks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. If we have clouds like this on Friday, chances are we won’t hike. There is no ascending the cables in inclement weather. Lightning strikes Half Dome every month of the year. People have died up there from ascending when they should not have. So the sun better shine on Friday!!!!

In 99% unrelated news, it’s been one year this past Saturday (9/27) that I found Carlos’ Half Dome you tube video. It was a year ago that I first voiced (to you) my desire to hike Half Dome. I think that’s kind of cool.

In 115% unrelated news I thinks it’s kind of strange that I know four Carlos’.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Yesterday I got an employee appreciation award at REI. (Read: employee of the month) Not too shabby, eh?

Love, Yvette

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Five Days and Counting....

Getting closer, getting closer!!! Had my meeting tonight, we worked on organizing campsites, car pooling, timing and plans. As of today, the cables are still up. My friend who was on the ledge is still in. Now it's packing time! Woo-Hoo!!!

Love, Yvette

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Six Days and Counting

This is my wonderful cat. I love her so much. Here she is showing me how much she loves me by clawing my arm. She's like that. Okay, I just didn't have any good Yosemite pictures left to show you.

We have a trip meeting tomorrow because there's a few of us going, so we need to coordinate. Getting excited! Need to start my food shopping!

One of my friends who's on this trip is out on the ledge right now. I'm doing my best to keep her from backing out. I know just how she's feeling.

Unfortunately, the weather is now making me nervous. According to NPS, the cables stay up on the condition of good weather until October 14. So, if the weather changes, they can pull them down earlier. Tonight's weather report implied rain to the east of us. I don't know what that means for us. So please keep your fingers crossed for me that the cables stay up. Thanks! :)

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seven Days and Counting....

In only seven days, this will be accomplished. I'm starting to get really excited. So excited that my pinky fingers are tingly. I can't explain it, when I get excited and nervous my pinkies tingle, and when I get really upset my thumbs get tingly. Well today it's all about the pinkies!

Around noon today, I was looking at the clock on the wall of my office. I was thinking to myself, "In a week, at this time, I'll be at the top of Half Dome." It's an exhilarating idea. I'm excited about finally going for it. Finally. Over ten years in the making. Not quite 15 years, but definitely over 10.

I've been reading though a book these last few days- and no, not the Half Dome book. This book is one from the Dan Millman series. There was a phrase in the book that strikes as very relevant as I'm embarking on this journey and its deluge of emotion. It goes like this: "The only time you have a chance to show courage, is when you're afraid." Makes sense, because it reminds me of a similar quote that I cannot remember it exactly. "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the acting in spite of it". I guess if you're not afraid, it's not courage.

Well, I'll definitely have the opportunity to show courage. :)

Okay, bed time. I'm tired.

Love, Yvette

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eight Days and Counting....

Before I start today's post, if you haven't done this yet, please re-read yesterday's post and then read the comment. I was pretty surprised. Wow.

Today has been a good day. Good stuff going on and it was a good distraction from my usually scheduled Half Dome drama.

This evening I had dinner with an old school friend, and surprisingly, I did not talk her ear off about Half Dome. When I came home, I watched the season premiers of two of my favorite shows: Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Loved them both!!!!

Oh, and in other excellent news, my favorite natural history museum is reopening this weekend. The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has gone under a big, big renovation. After Half Dome, I plan on taking a visit first chance I get :)

LOL, okay, I'm not quite drama-free this post. Every paragraph, including this one, includes the words Half Dome. Oh the insanity! Sigh, I tried.

Love, Yvette

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nine Days and Counting....

Okay, I had a moment of weakness today. I temporarily crawled back out on the ledge durning my lunch.

I bought a book about Half Dome back in June after I found out that I would be doing the hike. It's a really good book and I recommend it for any first time ascenders. (free plug here) The book is called One Best Hike by Rick Deutsch. It goes over preparation and what to expect on the hike. I read the sections on history and preparation, but I put the book down before reading the other sections. Being so close to game day, I decided that it would be prudent to finish the rest of the book.

Today while my lunch buddies had an always awesome lunch at Casa Corona, I went to Fajita Fiesta. I've come to really love their roasted chicken plate from their lunch menu. I highly recommend it. If you like garlic, there is a garlic chicken version. Exquisito! It's diced garlic, so the chunks are big enough for me to pick them off and eat them straight. :) I love garlic. Anyways, I brought OBH with me to read while I consumed my garlic with chicken.

I read through all the sections: Trailhead to bridge- Mist Trail- Vernal Fall- Silver Apron Bridge- Nevada Fall- Little Yosemite Valley- The Split- Little Spring. The next section is where I got myself into trouble. View of Half Dome and Sub Dome. Oh, I forgot to mention that the book has pictures. Well I came across a picture that looks like this. I just linked to the picture because it didn't feel right to copy and paste it since it's not my own picture. The vertigo commenced surreptitiously, then exploded into full on "Ledge Mode". You guys get that I'm afraid of heights, right? Well, what got me worried was the thought that if a picture of Sub Dome made my head spin, what would actually being in front of Sub Dome do to me? Not a pleasant thought at all :(

Explaining Sub Dome: Sub Dome is the right shoulder of Half Dome. The top of Sub Dome is the base of the cables. What looks like tiny bushes on Sub Dome are actually full sized trees and there is a series of narrow switchbacks going up to the top. According to the book, over 800 steps, oh, and no railing. Yeeeaaaah.

I worried through the rest of my lunch and for about an hour afterwards, then I was able to calm myself down. I'll get through it, I will. Ha, with all this drama I'm putting in my head, someone might think that the hike isn't worth it. I believe it is. Totally.

Love, Yvette

PS- If you're at all considering hiking Half Dome, I highly recommend Rick's book. I'm pretty sure you can find it here. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

10 Days and Counting....

Today is my last day of double-digit counting. Still nervous, still excited. Now it's time to start getting all my stuff together, making food lists, making sure I'm familar with all my new equipment, i.e. water filter and tent. In my training I never made it to the top of the climbing wall. It's okay though, even though I haven't made it to the top yet, I did gain some vertical confidence. That is more important to me at this time- I'll need it on the cables.
On a tangent, fall is here. I love autumn, it's my favorite season of the year. I love the changing of the leaves, and how the sky starts turning slightly orange in the late afternoon. I like how it stops being so flipping hot and it becomes enjoyable to be outside in Fresno again. When the weather gets just like this, I start to want to ride my bike again. I really want to ride my bike this week, but I don't want to jeopardize my trip by crashing or pulling a vital muscle.
Hopefully, once Half Dome is put to bed, I can turn my focus back to the wall and back to my bike. It will be nice.
Love, Yvette

Monday, September 22, 2008

11 days and counting….

CAVEAT: If you have no interest in hearing about Half Dome you should avoid my blog at all cost until around October 8th. It’s pretty much all I’m going to be talking about from here until the trip is over and sufficiently documented.

For the record, I am no longer on the ledge. Thank you Steve, and all my other friends for your kind and encouraging words.

Of course, once again, I am at a loss for words. I think that being at home gives me writer’s block or something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Half Dome (duh) and this whole thing is turning comic to me. I’ve wanted to hike this piece of rock for over ten years. What has always held me back was the fact that I was out of shape and over weight. I always told myself that I was going to get serious about getting back down to (at least close to) my dancing weight. I was going to train serious and get some hiking skills.

It never happened.

Now, in eleven days, I am going to attempt this thing. I will at least go further than I have ever attempted to go before, and I am in the absolute worst shape of my life! I am embarrassed to admit I weigh the most I have ever weighed ever. Working two jobs, I am the least active I have ever been. And here I am, going to do what I feel is the physically hardest thing I have ever done so far in my life. This is going to be harder than my previous metric centuries (62 mile bike rides)

Of course now I have this crazy paradox going on in my head. I want to only think positive, think success. I visualize myself on top of that rock, crying tears of happiness (you know me, big crybaby), dancing on top of my world (for now), singing Solsbury Hill. At the same time, I want to assure myself that if I don’t make it all the way, it’s not the end of the world. Yet, I feel that telling myself that, I’m sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure. So, having said that, I CAN do this, I WILL make it to the top (and back down).

In my moments of weakness, I am scared. I am going to go semi-nerd on you for a second. I cannot accurately describe the scene because I am not a Ringer, but if you’ve seen Return of the King, you should be able to piece it together and get what I am trying to say. It’s the scene where Theodin and the army come to the aid of the city of Gondor. The army comes over the ridge and looks down on the freaking huge Orc army laying waste to the city. The emotion I am talking about is the look you see on Eowyn’s and Merry’s faces. The look that clearly says, “Dear God in Heaven what the heck did I get myself into?” The look that says I want to turn and run away, and run away fast, but all the exits have been removed. After that look, Eowyn puts her arm around Merry and tells him, “Courage Merry, courage for our friends.” To me that statement says it all. It says, “we’re scared, but we’re going in anyways”. That’s exactly how I feel about this. I am scared, but I am going in anyways.

Yes, I know I am being melodramatic. That’s what I do. But you also know that you cannot roll your eyes at me and call me a drama queen because that will piss me off and I’ll go all Raiders on you and burn down your house. So just put your arm around me and say, “There there now, everything will be alright.”

I’ve created a special Half Dome playlist to give me inspiration as I am mentally preparing myself. It is music to inspire me to keep moving on my hike when I feel like I don’t have the energy to continue. I’ve even made a playlist I titled Panic Button, for if I should hit that brick wall. Unlike really hard bike rides, there are no rest stops with helpful volunteers willing to refill your water bottles, and DEFINITELY no broom wagon to carry you back to the start when your body can’t go anymore. Well, there is someone who can come get you, but later you’ll get a bill in the mail for $20,000+ for the use of the medi-vac helicopter. All the food I will eat in 12-14 hours I’ll be carrying myself, and I will be carrying a water filter with me for when (not if) I need more water. For those of you who are not familiar with the route, the only source of safe water is at the bridge below Vernal Falls, 0.8mi into the hike. When more is needed, it must be filtered from the Merced River.

So, in conclusion of this evening’s rant, I share with you my playlist and my favorite youtube video of the hike.

Half Dome Playlist
Dare You To Move- Switchfoot
Viva la Vida- Coldplay (yes, I know the lyrics are sad, but the music is upbeat)
Alive- P.O.D.
Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
Solsbury Hill- Peter Gabriel
Right Now- Van Halen
Beautiful Day- U2
Don’t Break This Rhythm- Peter Gabriel
Where the Streets Have No Name- U2
Red Warrior- The Last Samurai- Hans Zimmer

Love, Yvette

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Someone Please Talk Me Down Off the Ledge

17 days until Half Dome

I am not ready.

Tomorrow I am hiking up to Nevada Falls. Not for a training hike, but to see how bad it's going to be for me.

I'm scared.

I'm scared and I'm upset with myself for not being ready.

I keep telling myself that it's about the journey, not the destination.
(but I want the destination)

Maybe I'll feel different on Thursday.

I just hope I bring enough water. I should start drowning my kidneys now.

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

Okay, it's not New Year's to you, but it's definitely a new year for me. There's been a shift that feels like a year in the making. Instead of mourning the time behind me (The years that felt like wasted years. The paths I took that I felt led me in the wrong directions. The milestones that I felt I should have marked, but didn't), I'm excited about the time in front of me. I'm excited about what I might learn, experience, accomplish in the next 365 days. This past year I've definitely let go of some heavy baggage, stuff that held me back from reaching my potential. I feel good, I feel lighter, I feel relieved.

Now, don't get me wrong. It hasn't been all that bad. In spite of past "shortcomings" and "failures", I do have a lot to be thankful for. And I am. It just that, usually, on my birthday I say "this is going the year that I finally get it right". Whatever "it" was supposed to be. I think my problem was that I didn't know what "it" was.

Now I'm laughing. This post has gotten too serious for the occasion. All I'm trying to say is that it's my birthday today. I'm happy and life is wonderful. It's my day to be silly, and I am. I'm wearing a crown at work, and I plan to wear it tonight at REI. Life is good.

Love, Yvette

PS- Check out my Flickr site. I uploaded a few of my pictures from San Fransisco and my first SEKI trip this year. The sets are not complete yet, but they will be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Post Has No Title

While I was at work today, I had this post all written in my head. It was going to be awesome. You see, tomorrow is my 35th birthday. It’s a whole new chapter in my life. So I was going to reflect on the past and somewhat on what’s in my head.

Of course, the minute I got home from work, it all left me.

I’m looking forward to turning 35. I’m excited. I feel on the precipice of a new adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Love, Yvette

PS- Tomorrow I'm going to keep an email open so I can jot things down as they come to me through out the day. Maybe that will help me hold on to my ideas.

Monday, September 8, 2008


And no, I'm not talking about a prostate-specific antigen test! ;)

My cousin John sent me this link. I think it's awesome, so I thought I would share it with you:

The Gratitude Campaign

Check it out.

By the way, on Friday I stood up to cancer. Did you?

Love, Yvette

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

On tonight at 8:00!!! Watch it!!!

Love, Yvette

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hub Sighting

I'm starting a new post label called REI is the Hub of the Universe and start logging all my sightings. Today I saw Louis.

Who is Louis?

When I was in the 7th and 8th grade, I went to Edison-Computech. I didn't stay there for high school because Hoover had the better band and I've been a band geek since Mr. Ayala handed me my first flute in the 4th grade.

Anyways, in the 7th grade I had Ms. Roberson for geography. Louis was her teacher's aide. He was an 8th grader. So essentially I haven't seen Louis since 1986 and I recognized him.

I am creepy, scary, and have serious stalker tendencies ;)

Love, Yvette

Back But Briefly

I forgot that I'm going to be out of the office and out of town for this week. Yup, back in P-Ville.

Today is Labor Day. I didn't have to go into the office today, but I am scheduled to work at REI in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say, I am already here, typing on the breakroom computer.

A year ago today, well, approximately--- Labor Day 2007, I entered my store for the first time. We were still under construction and the store was filled with fixtures and boxes of inventory. I spent this whole week having my front line training, and would spend the weekend and first part of next week stocking the store. We had our soft opening on my birthday, September 12th, and had our grand opening on September 14. You can read my memories here. Just scroll down to the very bottom and read your way up. I can't believe it's been a whole year already (sort-of). You know me, I'm sentimental.

In other news, I saw the movie Peaceful Warrior on Friday. Good movie in my opinion. Now the part that freaks me out: I can't remember where I heard about it. I remember seeing a print ad for the movie, but I can't remember where. I'm going through old magazines and I can't find any sign of it anywhere. I don't really know anybody who would see a movie like this and tell me about it, and I'm pretty darn sure that I read an ad for it. It's strange because I had no idea what it was about when I threw it on my queue many months ago. The movie was adapted from a book I have never read nor ever heard of. Two Saturdays ago (maybe three) I had a customer come through my line with a Peaceful Warrior hat on. Told him how I had wanted to see that movie, but it hadn't come up through my queue yet. He told me that he knew the author (who, at that time, I had no idea who he was). He said the book was more detailed and definitely worth reading. I told him that I would bump it up to the top of my queue so I could hurry up and see it so I could read the book (I will always try to see a movie first, books are SO much better). After that exchange, I promptly forgot about the whole thing and I never renumbered my queue. Friday after I got home from my shift at REI, I was going through my mail and spied the red envelope. I thought, "oh, I wonder what movie came in for me". Guess what movie it was. Yup, it was Peaceful Warrior. Strange coincidence, isn't it? Well, I was just going to watch the first 30 minutes of it while I was getting ready for bed, and I ended up starting the movie from the beginning and watched the whole thing. Good movie. Saturday after work I bought the book. I've been dying to read it, but I'm saving it for P-ville. I'll need something to do after work in that tiny, tiny town. :)

Love, Yvette