Note to self: The fact that your family, friends, or anyone else have heard of Yosemite and wanted to visit this place so badly does not in any way mean that they know about the most iconic features of the park.
We made it back to the valley via John Muir Trail. Avoiding the valley bus packed to the roof with tourists, we made my mum walk back to the car – a feat she wasn’t super happy about. But I went and bought us all some ice-cream when we made it back to Half Dome Village, so she didn’t complain much. We sat in the shade of a pine on the curb, happily enjoying our treat when I pointed to a quite prominent piece of rock standing tall above the valley.
I turned to face my dad, trying to figure out if he was just making fun of me. He didn’t seem to, which threw me off more than if he was.
“What is Half Dome?”
“Oh, nothing, just one of the most famous rocks in the world! And the one I’m pointing to. How did you not know?”
“Why did you think we’d know Half Dome?”
“I don’t know, maybe because it’s always the one feature of Yosemite they show on the TV in the Czech Republic – and because you really wanted to come here?”
“That doesn’t mean that I know what it is…”
I stared at my dad in disbelief for a short second and then told them a little bit more about this ‘insignificant’ piece of rock.
Soon, we headed out of the valley. My parents seemed to be a little tired from the early morning start, the hike, and the elevation, so we headed to the campground where we were to stay for the next two nights. However, before we left the magnificent valley behind us completely, I made a quick stop at the Tunnel View. How could I not?
“I feel like I’m looking at it in a painting,” said my mother when she got out of the car and to the viewpoint. I remembered the first time I saw the valley from here and the complete disbelief that something like this could be real.
“Yeah… same,” I said.
“I thought you’d be used to it by now… although I can see that this is probably not something you can get used to seeing,” said my dad.
“Yeah, I’ve seen it quite a few times. But I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. I hope I won’t. I don’t want to get used to it.”
I pointed to Half Dome.
“Okay, a quick test. What’s that?” I asked my dad.
“That rock over there.”
“How would I know?”
“Dad, it’s literally the same one I told you about back in the valley.”
“Is it? Really? Oh… yeah, I forgot its name…”
This was facepalm-worthy, I concluded.
“It’s Half Dome, dad.”
“How can you expect me to remember it… What’s that?” he pointed to El Cap.
“That’s El Capitan. That’s basically what makes Yosemite the climbing capital in the U. S., if not in the world.”
“People actually climb that?”
“Yeah, they do… One dude, Alex Honnold, climbed it without a rope.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. He did, really, climb it all without a rope. It took him less than four hours.”
“That’s…” My father was without words to say.
“Maybe one day I’ll climb it, too.”
“No, you won’t.” That was my mother speaking in such a matter-of-fact fashion that for a second, even I believed I’d never ever even touch El Cap with my hands.
When we made it to the campground, my parents started to set up their tent while I hung a hammock between two trees and started to make us dinner.
“Something’s gonna eat you,” said my mum when she saw that I, indeed, was not planning on sleeping in a tent. I did bring one, but the sky was to be clear that night, so I didn’t bother with it.
“It’s not like the fabric of the tent is gonna save you from a bear,” I replied. When we were going to sleep later that evening, I heard her say to my father; “Something’s really gonna eat her. I hope you know where she put the car keys.” She was dead serious when saying that.
Thank you for choosing to spend your time joining us on the road. The previous post is right HERE. The following post from this road trip will be HERE as soon as it gets published!
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And have a day full of wonder! 🙂
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