Have I forgotten to mention there are fires?
HOW have I forgotten to mention there are fires?
WE CAN’T EVEN SEE YOSEMITE.
The smoke is crazy – it burns my eyes every morning I climb out of my tent, and my throat is scratchy all day. If I smoked cigarettes, I could save my money and just breathe deeply outside. Which I’m doing. Hey. It’s all fun and games, right?
I’M IN YOSEMITE.
(Even if I can’t see it properly).
Here’s what we’re looking at:
And here’s a cute Googled picture of what people generally get to look at:
At least it’s keeping tourists away!! Somehow our timing meant we rocked up on a Friday afternoon during US summer holidays – this is not the right time to be in Yosemite, for future reference. However, with close to 200,000 hectares burning away all around us, weekend warriors stayed away.
Lucky for us, not everybody.
Carlos and Mayra picked us up near the trailhead, which was still an hour from Yosemite Valley, where most of the sight seeing is done. They ended up feeding and hosting us that night as well. People continue to amaze me, with their open hearts and open tables.
We shared ice cream, we had a picnic, we made friends with deer and with duckies.
We rested our tired, fat feet.
I’ve thought many a time: somehow, this is preparing me for the future. This is growing my resilience, proving to myself I can hang in there, stretching my boundaries and capacity. I guess it’s preparing me for pregnant kankles too, whenever that happens?
I got to go to church for the first time on trail.
John Muir once described Yosemite as his church outside the church:
“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.”
And another quote of his I like:
“I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, that in church thinking about the mountains.”
How lucky am I, that I was able to have the timing align and go to church in the most beautiful of mountains?!
I’m excited to one day come back, and be able to see this place in it’s full glory. Someone commented on how disappointing it was to have the Valley shrouded in smoke, but I disagree. It adds mystery, a deep beauty, an unusual stillness to the atmosphere here. I think that our time was special; it’s not often people have experienced Yosemite as we were able to. And, one day, I can come back and see it in a brand new light.
Today, I am thankful for the smoke and my gang and our time here.