Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tiiiiiiin Roof -- Rusted!

After we stopped and grabbed a bite we continued about our day. We had seen all the waterfalls in the park except for the ones that take a few hours to hike to. On and off all day it was cold then warm. It really depended on where we were in the park I suppose. We made our way towards the end of the road, where it became blocked off due to the snow. Past that point you could hike towards Nevada Fall and then on your way to Half Dome. Half Dome is a day hike, and you need a permit for it. If you have time go to the link and watch the video on what the hike endures. The shit is cray. I wish I had that type of endurence. I'd like to do maybe Nevada Fall hike one day. But even thats a good 5 hour round trip hike. Half Dome is 8,800 feet above sea level, and is solid granite. To reach the top of the dome you go single file up cables that have been bolted into the rock. It is really interesting to see these people go up this thing... well in the video anyways. You couldn't see it in the park unless you hiked all the way there. Just watching the people go through this hike makes me realize there is so much to life I want to experience. Hopefully once I graduate and get settled, I can start making some of these changes. 

Ashley and I decided to hike to Mirror Lake. Which is an awful excuse for a lake.. especially one that, I don't know... mirrors. Apparently they stopped dredging it years ago so it does not have much of a reflective quality any more. The hike to the lake was easy, about an hour round trip, and most of the path was paved and there was not much climbing to be had. We meandered for the most part, taking our time checking out the scenery. Along our journey we found this huge rock made cave from falling rocks over the years, 


and this tree that was pretty much hollowed out by fire at one point. The thing about Sequoias is that fire is actually a natural protector of the tree. The bark is so thick and dense that it isn't really harmed by the fire, and the fire kills the natural predators of the tree, such as other growth that can come in and take over the land and nutrients. Back when the English started to put out the forrest fires to protect the land, and it turned out it was harming the sleeping giants because competing Oak trees and other species were taking over. This provides the soil with fresh rich nutrients to help grow new seedlings. The fire also helps the Sequoias cone open to spread the seeds. What a crazy thought. A tree that likes fire.

Once we made it to Mirror Lake.. Which we walked past, because it didn't resemble a lake. We started down a path and came to a warning sign. A warning sign to not go past with out severe caution due to falling rocks... BIG falling rocks. The event was the Rockslide of the Middle Brothers in 1987 and it was so large it felt like an earthquake. So if you know me... I went past the sign because, honestly, who doesn't want to see what a rockslide catastrophe looks like? Ashley was a little uneasy about the thought of this, but what is she going to do? Let me go alone? So she follows. Then it wasn't a great feeling when we are walking on this rocky path in an area known for rock slides and in the quite of day we stop. Crash, tumble, crumble, crash. What was that in the distance? Falling rocks. Awesome, it was on the other side of the valley, lets continue. The path was rocky, I was hopping up rocks like a grasshopper trying to see what was going to appear next. It was beautiful. Just us. And well Alfred. Alfred was this crow that kept following us. It kind of made me uneasy, he would fly ahead of us, stop on a branch, and crow. We would walk and he would do it again, almost like he was warning us. Eventually he went away, but I'm not going to lie, I was a little nerve wrecked from him. Animals know things we don't. 

We came across some rocks that had fallen... And they continued to get bigger the further we went. Some of them were as big as cars, even small houses, and had completely broken redwood trees in half. Now that was a sight to see. 

My phone had died unfortunately, which believe it or not its what I use to take all my photographs. Ashley had her camera, but she had control. I'm a bit more of a picture whore, so we would have probably been in the area a lot longer then we were just to give me time to get the perfect shots.

Regardless of the terrain one can not complain about the work they put in to have such rewards to be able to see a sight like this in person. So peaceful, serene, and so very, very, LARGE. The infamous and beautiful Half Dome. Nothing but pure, untouched granite. Not many people have the luxury in life to travel and see such a site like this. It really amazes me. Some people simply don't want to travel, others wouldn't even think about going somewhere like this, because the theme park is way more fun. Some people have never left their state. And thats what blows me away the most. This is out there, and you have never left your hometown. It is a sight like this that powers the fire inside of me. It is a sight like this that reminds me why I am alive.

By the end of the trail Ashley had about enough of nature as she could get for the day. She preferred the paved hiking trails, as for me, I like to get off the road and make my own path. So we headed back. I was getting a little weary about the position of the sun. It was starting to set. I really wanted to see Horsetail fall. It had been such a beautiful day, I knew the conditions were right to see it. It was just the challenge of getting to it at this point. 

When we got back to the car and Ashley was exhausted and ready to go home. We had been running around this massive forrest all day, whose to blame her. We got in the car and cranked up the heat. We were either hot or cold, there was no happy medium. 

Not far down the road when we started to head out of the park we came across a car stopped in the middle of the road. The car had stopped for some deer crossing the road. A lady had gotten out of the car and was taking pictures of them. I couldn't really get a good shot of them because they were just far enough away. So we pulled around the car in front of us where we found 2 more deer drinking water from a puddle of melted snow, right in front of their car.... Thanks for the heads up lady. 

What a day it has been so far, a little bit of everything all wrapped into one.. Good thing our luck has been this good. I can only imagine what will happen next.

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