Well, we find out we were pretty tired that next day. We hang out in Yosemite Village. Bookstore. Native American Museum. Picnic on "the rock" in Camp 4, and then off to Glacier Point. It's a beautiful drive. Deep, dark shadows amongst the pine and fir. Bits of snow, patches increasing as we get up. Sentinel Dome hike is misleading at first, but once on the trail, Linda and I are stoked. Happy to be at it again, and happy to be on a less-traveled trail. But the kids, on the other hand, feel differently. They're tired, and "done" with hiking. So we do what parents do best: bribe them. Trail mix is a good motivator, especially when it includes M & Ms!
We make it up to the viewing point. It's breathtaking, even at mid-day. Off the snow-covered edge, El Cap shines. A snow-covered Mnt. Hoffman stands proud and tall, shooting up through the azure sky.
The kids throw snowballs (at moms again) and make snow sandwiches. We eat crackers, carrots and humus. Full bellies and a full heart. We hike back down and drive to Clark Point. Half Dome, Vernal, and Nevada Falls. An intense, breathtaking view. The kids are all smiles when we show them the vastness of the 8-mile loop they made past Vernal and Nevada. We take group shots (barely.) Kids tired and ready to drive (and sleep...yeah, right.)
Back to Yosemite Village for mushroom & olive pizza to go this time. We eat out in the meadow, and as the sun sets, a slow, comforting breeze eases through us. Alpenglow on Half Dome wishes us well, and thanks us for coming home after all these years.
Our last hurrah is Lower Falls at dusk. We bundle up and reach the falls. Pure, raw power burst through, raining down upon us. The girls dance, and celebrate the mist with laughter. In the dark night, the electricity fills me, and once again I realize the potential of this place. This high sierra heaven.
The next day we make friends with Jesse (former Search and Rescue guy here in the Valley) and his son Dylan (age 3 and wears a chock bag on his hip!) in Camp 4. They rock climb. Collect acorns. Ride on a bouncy branch. Transformation from the young, rock-climber Camp 4 to the kid-friendly Camp 4. Political discussions with our neighbors. World talks. Climbers and hikers from around the globe.
The perfect mix.
True friends. Granite walls. Waterfalls.