Friday, October 17, 2008

A Walk in The Park

Not every walk in the park is "A Walk in The Park."
The phrase , "walk in the park " generally connotes : an easy or pleasurable experience, or a stroll.
But the Wednesday walk that we choose in Yosemite Park just was not easy nor totally pleasurable.

I have shared with you our exhilaration after completing some challenging hikes. Now it's time to let you know that some of them do me in!!

When we started the hike to Upper Yosemite Falls we knew we might not make it to the top. Although ONLY 3.4 MILES TO THE TOP, it is a rugged difficult path that rises 2,700 feet in elevation and is marked "strenuous".
But I thought...we've hiked some hairy trails and made it. We (probably) can do this.

We reached the first viewpoint, stopped and chatted with other hikers, took in the scene, and praised ourselves for the strong ascent. But as we started back on the path, I saw that the walkway surfaces were changing. Some were like old cobblestone streets -- that seemed as if they were severely buckled by frost and then, oddly, polished shiny -- and therefore slippery, with a jeweler's cloth. Other parts were just rock jumbles, and some sandy.

I tried to stop quantifying -- to take the pressure off myself to complete a certain number of miles --but initially translated that I should hike for another hour or so.

The sights were gorgeous and the trail relatively quiet -- a route few other hikers were attempting that day. Moments of sweet solitude and awed by the grandeur of granite peaks.

But it is hard to "Be Here Now" when you will also have to be -- there then. What I mean is sometimes difficult to decide when to turn around. I think my decision came when I saw a pile of fresh bear scat on the trail.

How to determine how much energy I have left for the return trip. In this case, the downhill was tougher than uphill. Grueling, even with hiking poles. And to add insult to injury, it was the only long hike that I was really bugged by gnats.

These are some of Alan's photos of the trip. He said we did about 2/3 of the trail. The funny part was -- when we got down, we had planned to reward ourselves by eating at our favorite sandwich place in the park. But since the hike was so hard and slow, we got out later than we had anticipated. We only had twenty minutes before they closed and it was over a mile -- so we hoofed it to Degnan's.
It was funny; we made it and enjoyed our meal; and the striding on a flat path helped loosen us up.
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Rebecca said...

Nice work. I know that sometimes (at least for me) deciding when to stop and being content with what was completed can be as much of a challenge as finishing. A good skill to develop though.

Barbara said...

This mother has a wise daughter.

In addition to thinking I should do things, anything, well -- the first time I try it, I also too often think my improvement will grow by leaps and bounds. So, if I hiked 8 miles one day, I should hike 10-12 miles the next day, and maybe 36 by next week!!

Yes, knowing when to stop AND being content with that is a good skill to develop -- and I keep relearning it.

Anonymous said...

You'll never know how much you can chew until you bite off a bit too much :-)

Tyler's Dad