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A Return to Yosemite

August 10, 2012

Two years ago my family and I embarked on a 5+ week journey across CONUS (that's fancy for Continental United States). We are often asked how we could stand each other for so long in cramped quarters ( small hotel rooms and our medium sized SUV).  But somehow we managed to have a great deal of fun together and can put up with one another's little idosyncrasies. This summer we decided upon a return trip focusing on the great state of California.

One of our greatest regrets from that trip two years ago was the ill timed arrival and execution of our first visit to Yosemite National Park.  One of our greatest desires this year was to make sure we planned and executed our visit to this national treasure a bit better.  And boy did we.  After our last trip I decided any return trip to Yosemite must include a hike up to the top of Half-Dome. We studied what it would take to make this journey and watched videos and read many blog posts on planning such a hike. We were successful.
 
Below is an image from the sub base of half dome looking up at the cables located in the middle of the image. The ascent from the bottom of the cables is approximately 400 feet at about a 45 degree angle or more. Just getting to this point is about a 7-8 mile hike with +3500 feet of climbing.  In the image that gentleman in the lower left hand corner is my 17-year old son who is realizing for the first time the magnitude of what he is about to undertake and also the grandeur of this granite beauty.
 
All four of us made the trek up to the top (and back down I might add) safely including my 12 year old son who seem to hit his stride as we got to the cables. On our previous trip we were exhausted when we got to Yosemite, this time we were well rested for our hike and completely wasted after it.  Like I said, better planning pays off. Below a shot of the descent.
 
I would like to say the image below was a well planned self portrait showing what it is like on the cables, however this was just me trying to hold on and take some shots during the hike up when I accidentally triggered the camera. What was that I read Ansel Adams often saying, "chance favoring the prepared mind"? That's it!