…and it was mentally and physically exhausting – but I am proud I did it!
10+ miles (hiked around at the top), 8 hours, and 2,881 feet in altitude gain later my dude and I hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls! It was switch back after switch back after switch back. I kept telling myself to take it one switchback at a time. Half way up, the trail takes you pretty close to the fall and you can feel the mist from it. That was super cool. Other hikers were really nice and encouraging as well which was so nice. I felt the comradery for sure. We picked up a hiking stick along the way and named it ‘sticky’ kinda like clippy (that paperclip from the old version of word who was always offering advice lol). It was funny! We finally reached the top four hours in. We put our feet in the water running just before going over the falls. My dude went all the way in which was impressive because it was really cold.
We didn’t get too much time at the top because I knew I would be slow going down. I have a bad knee and I am carrying extra weight so it would be hard on my joints. Also, it was kind of scary! Going down the switch backs and seeing over the edge – slipping and tripping along the way. I eventually sent my mind to what I am calling ‘the void’ in our race against the sun and started moving a little faster. The way down seemed as though it would never end. People were flying down without any fear and I just couldn’t do it. I had to be steady. I was exhausted and in pain by the last mile (my poor dude – I was not pleasant I am sure). Then – I fell. I slipped and fell my hip/butt right onto a pointy rock. This is when I just started crying – not because it particularly hurt but because it all hurt and I was so done. My dude was so great and supportive and I was grateful to be doing that hike with him. We finally made it to the bottom just as the sun set (will definitely bring a flashlight from now on). Then I just couldn’t do the quarter mile back to the car and he RAN to get it and pick me up. It was the biggest act of love and I was so grateful for it.
On the way down, we saw someone looking for a girl on crutches. She said she had made it to the top – on crutches! Hole crap. I admire that girl and I hope she made it down okay. There were also people starting the hike when the sun was going down. One looked like they were camping but the others were gonna go up and come back that fast. I admire them too.
Overall – I am really proud we did that hike. It was the biggest and hardest hike I have ever done. My feet hurt so badly after it that I had to ice them and cried. I have a huge bruise on my hip/butt, some awesome photos, and a bonding experience that was priceless. However, I think it will be my last hike of that magnitude. Or at least that steep. I will also a lot more time for enjoying the hike.