I bet you thought I was all done with the Yosemite recaps, right? Nope. I present to you all the tidbits that didn’t make the polished versions.
Most unexpected moment: TASERS.
Because no life list trip could be complete without the threat of someone being tased, right? No, it wasn’t us. It was some douche of a guy with a German Shepard sitting right by the last water receptacle for miles, smoking what looked to be a big doobie and refusing to move. Two rangers had tasers pointed at him, trying to persuade him to get off his ass and come with them. In time, a third ranger managed to ease the dog away from him, while a fourth horse-mounted one appeared as backup with a spare horse. Nobody in the gathering crowd was allowed to pass until they had him handcuffed. Instead we were forced to just stand there and watch the whole thing go down (or video it), but in the end no one got tased. Dammit. I mean, whew.
Funniest moment #1: Heed your friend’s warning.
At numerous points on our hikes, we were forced to use some less-than-fresh smelling restrooms. Strangely enough, one of the least odoriferous was the solar-composting outhouse in the middle of our 6hr hike. But some funnies went down in a surprisingly clean one – a two-stall-er with normal toilets. By normal, I mean not the outhouse meets porta-potty style without plumbing. Eww. Grateful for the civility, E went in first. After a few seconds I heard this:
E: “OH!AAAAGGGH! …………. That’s a BIG BUG.”
Commence me snickering at silly E, for being such a wimp about what was probably a teeny beetle.
Me: *in mock sympathy* “Are you okayyyyy?”
E: “Um. Yes……….. But THAT’S A BIG BUG!”
I kept laughing at how adorable she was. It was so damn cute.
When she was done she exited the stall hastily and still chortling, I entered the stall. Didn’t see anything. So I shut the door and assumed the hover.
Then I looked up and saw it. It was clinging to the wall juuuuuust at eye level from my very vulnerable postition.
ME: “AAAAAGGHHH! ………….HOLY SHIT!!! ……….. That IS a BIG BUG!!!”
…and then I started laughing. This big bug wasn’t something that would bite or sting me – it was a mosquito hawk. Albeit, AN ENORMOUS ONE. And it just sat there on the wall, minding it’s own business while I did my business. Didn’t even budge when I opened the door and almost squished it.
Note to self: don’t underestimate E’s reactions while in Yosemite. I’d hate to assume she saw a squirrel when it was really a bear.
Funniest moment #2: We traveled all the way to Cali and she’s captivated by … GOATS.
On the trek from San Francisco to Mariposa Grove we needed a pit stop. Along the exit to the rest stop was a fenced field that contained numerous goats of all shapes, sizes and colors. The New Yorker? She had to ooooh, ahhh, giggle, “they’re so cute!” and take pictures of them. Me? Color me puzzled. Yep, them’s goats.
Worst Moment #1: F#$& this.
The smelly outhouses. I don’t even rank them among toilets or loos or whathaveyou. Because where I come from, things FLUSH. As they should. Instead, we saw monstrosities of the likes that I never wish to see again in my lifetime. I’m so much of a delicate flower that I can’t deal with some stench in dire emergency, but there was an outhouse-style one where I took a step through the door… and did a perfectly executed military about-face. NOPE. NUH-UH. NOT HAPPENING. Because y’all, if the smell makes me gag from 6ft away, I’m sure as hell not going to hang my butt over it and try to pee.
Worst Moment #2: Sleepus Interruptus
Our tents were lovely, really. Just exactly what we needed and nothing more. Problem is, our neighbors treated their tent as if the walls had actual insulation in them and seriously violated the 10pm quiet hour rule our first night there. The rangers came to shush them once, but it did nothing to shut them up. Finally E, badass that she is, hollered out, “HI. WE CAN ALLLLLL HEAR YOU. PLEASE. BE. QUIET.” Problem solved. Night number two was another rough one, but this time we couldn’t sleep because of the ridiculous heat. California is supposed to be cool at night, right??? On the day we hiked 6 hours in 100+ degree weather, we just lay there in the still-oppressive and unseasonably hot night air. Not even our exhaustion helped us fall asleep. Nothing worse than sweaty slumber. Ick.
Best Moments, Top 3
- E and I getting to hug our tree. Trip? Success!
- Sitting at the top of Nevada Falls, feet dangling over the edge of the world, feeling nothing but joy. (Also, lounging on the warm rocks at Bridalveil Falls, watching the loveliest nature show.)
- The moment in the hike to Vernal Falls when we were near enough that the mist drifted onto our heated skin. It glittered our hair and dampened our hot faces. Glorious, I say.
Most Grateful For, Top 3
- Sunscreen/Ben’s bug spray/AfterBite – No worse outdoorsy-trip buzzkill than sunburns and clawing at itchy welts. We escaped with only a few skeeter bites.
- Ice cream – in our five day excursion, I believe we had ice cream four nights out of five. Because, WHY NOT.
- Friends, of course! This amazing trip would have been way less fun without the lovely E. She and I make pretty good travel partners and I’d take another trip with her any time! Thanks, E!
I don’t want it to be over yet, but I’ll close the last of my Yosemite posts with one more gem.