Note to self: Don’t forget to rewrite your mother’s description of the temperature when you’re writing about this from “cold as f…” to something else.
Nothing ate me that night, much to my mother’s surprise. Nothing ate me on the second night, either, and when I woke them up after our third and final night in Yosemite, still alive and well, she seemed to have accepted the fact that sleeping in a hammock isn’t much more “dangerous” than sleeping in a tent.
On that final morning, the sunlight tickling my face and waking me up seemed to be warmer than any other day, the birds seemed to be singing more and louder, and the air seemed to flicker. At first, my mother didn’t seem to appreciate me knocking on the tarp of their tent and pulling them out into the chilly morning, but soon even she melted at the sight of that beauty. It was time for us to pack up and move on, and so we broke down the camp and cooked a quick breakfast.
Today, on our last day in Yosemite, I was going to bring my parents to Glacier Point and Dog Lake up in Tuolumne. I did warn them that the lake is usually pretty cold, I swear…
We drove to Glacier Point. I know, I know, “so lazy,” some might think. But I wasn’t going to risk pulling my mother up Four Mile Trail or any other trail from the valley. And what more, we definitely wouldn’t make Dog Lake after that.
Glacier Point was as beautiful as ever. When we walked to the edge, I heard my mother gasp and my father go unusually quiet. He’s always been a quiet person, but this time, he somehow managed to be even more quiet than ever. I understood; seeing it all from this new perspective was quite an experience.
“That’s Mirror Lake down there under Half Dome. That’s where you swam yesterday,” I told them.
“That? That’s where we were?”
“Over there, that’s Vernal and Nevada Fall, that’s where we were the very first day.”
“I got up there?!” – that was my mother, not wanting to believe that she really made it to the top of Nevada Fall from the valley, especially after I pointed out the route we took – on the left from Nevada Fall, through what seemed like a rockfall without any possible route through it.
“Yes, you got up there.”
The mist at the base of Vernal fall was illuminated by the morning light and made the whole place seem straight out of a fairytale. It was simply beautiful – so beautiful that even I was moved by it, even though I’ve seen it before. But I think that one can never see things like that many times enough to get used to them. I certainly hope I will never get used to them…
“What are those falls? Did we go to those?” Asked my father, pointing to Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls, still hidden in shadows.
“Yosemite Falls. We were at the base of the lower one yesterday.”
“Oh, the one with a lot of people?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
We spent some more time up there, admiring the views of the Valley, all the waterfalls, Half Dome and El Capitan and the High Sierra. The size of the land could never stop amazing me. So much space…
Stopping by at Tenaya Lake, we continued to Tuolumne Meadows.
My parents heard me talking about Tuolumne a lot – after all, that’s where I stay most of the times I come to Yosemite – and couldn’t wait to go to Dog Lake.
Dog Lake is a small and lonely lake, mirroring three big peaks in its calm waters surrounded by woods and quiet. It’s not a long hike to get to the lake, however, people tend to not know about it and so I’m there completely alone most of the times.
After we had some cheesburgers at the only food-providing place in Tuolumne (which my parents LOVED – they’re really great cheesburgers), we started towards the lake.
“Is a bear going to kill and eat us?” asked my mother after I pointed out the signs telling us that we were entering a wilderness area.
“Nah, you’re fine,” I answered, not bothering to explain again why any bear wasn’t going to eat us.
Once again, my parents were completely mesmerized by that tiny device which I filtered water for us with from a stream we encountered, and soon enough, we made it to the lake.
I seemed that “wow” has become my parents favourite word. Although I didn’t blame them; the lake was as beautiful as ever, calm and quiet. And cold.
This time, the three peaks standing guard weren’t mirroring perfectly in the water as it was rippled with a breeze running across the lake. Nonetheless – and because each of us could really use washing off the sweat and dust by now – we got in.
“Oh my god, that’s cold as f… fluffy unicorns!” (let me replace the word my mother used here) exclaimed my mother, definitely scaring away any bear that could have been nearby to eat us, as she feared at the beginning on this hike.
“Mom! Shhh…” I pressed my finger on my lips. She quieted down and whispered: “That’s cold as ‘fluffy unicorns!'”
Nonetheless, we all ended up swimming in the lake which was, yes, cold as fluffy unicorns – cold as any other time, to be frank. It was beautiful – as always – and unbelievably refreshing. None of us wanted to leave, however, we still had a little bit of drive and the day was going to start slowly coming to an end soon.
We said goodbye to Dog Lake, my father moved once again. We didn’t meet anyone there.
“I can see… I think I can understand why you love it here so much.”
It was probably the most beautiful part of the day – my parents understanding the decisions I’ve made which brought me so far away from what used to be my home – but which gave me this.
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!
( And if you feel like it, you can follow this blog so you won’t miss the future posts from the road trip.)
And have a day full of wonder! 🙂