Note to self: when you’re the one planning a road trip for/with your parents, try to remember that the ratio of physical ability might have changed since when they were the ones planning everything.
Vernal and Nevada Falls seemed like the most logical place to take my parents to on our first day in Yosemite National Park. From what I remembered, my parents were much stronger hikers than me, always pulling me behind them as I complained that my legs hurt. And since I had no trouble getting to the top of Nevada Falls (not anymore, anyway), it would be a piece of cake for them to get there, that was for sure.
Unfortunately, I haven’t realized that this memory of me not being able to catch up to them was from 2001 when I was only five years old.
I parked our car in the parking lot next to what used to be Curry Village, now Half Dome Village, and gave my parents a rough description of what was ahead of us, instructed my mother not to attempt the hike in her sandals and my father to pack the electrolyte drink we bought for them to help deal with the altitude.
When I considered everyone ready, we started towards Happy Isles – on foot, none of us was a big fan of trying to squeeze into the shuttle bus.
Soon enough, we were huffing and puffing the first hill up the paved path. If you ask me, that hill is the worst part of that entire loop – worse than the rock steps on the northern side of Nevada Fall under Liberty Cap. Yes, I said it.
Nonetheless, we made it to the bridge and my parents saw Vernal Fall up Merced river. Their oohs and aahs seemed to drown even the roar of the river, which I would not consider possible if I didn’t witness it firsthand.
However, those oohs and aahs didn’t last long. More precisely, they lasted about as long as the (finally) flat path, which, if you’ve ever been there, you know doesn’t last long. Only about 100 yards, to be accurate.
While we made our way along the river, still meeting a little too many tourists, I started to wonder if Mist Trail was the right choice for my parents. We all are not big fans of out-and-backs, and what more, Mist Trail is one of the most fun trails in the valley, so I decided we should stick to our original plan, but as soon as the stairs at the bottom of Vernal Fall started, I could see on my mother that she wasn’t what I’d describe as keen of the amount of physical extortion required of her from the stairs.
Luckily, we were in for another treat (to keep my mum moving) as soon as we got closer to Vernal Fall.
Clouds of mist – “So this is why it’s called Mist Trail!” exclaimed my mum – transformed into clouds of rainbows all around us.
I could see a literal ring of rainbow going all the way around me, when I heard my father; “Look! I have a rainbow circle around me.”
“I can’t see yours but I can see mine, I have it too!”
And so we were turning around in one spot, looking at our personal rainbow hola-hoops, and laughing like kids.
Until it was time to go again…
~ to be continued ~
(And if you feel like it, you can follow this blog so you won’t miss the future posts from the road trip.)
Have a day full of wonder! 🙂