Saturday, July 01, 2006

Eating dirt in Yosemite

It's not a real trip to Yosemite until Stephanie twists her ankle and falls on the ground, thereby injuring AND humiliating herself. Actually, it's not really a trip anywhere until Stephanie falls and (sometimes seriously) hurts herself. Okay, let's be honest: it's not really a normal DAY until Stephanie spastically trips over something, and probably falls.

This time, unlike my last trip to Yosemite, I didn't twist my ankle on a treacherous, rocky hiking trail. No, I waited until we had already gone hiking and were on our way to the parking lot, walking along a flat, paved sidewalk, to totally eat it. I guess I stepped on a rock and my ankle went goofy and down I went! Of course, I popped back up and laughed, as I brushed grit from my wounds and tried to conceal the blood congealing on my hand and knee. It seems like falling and scraping the crap out of my hands and knees is becoming somewhat of a pattern. Sigh.

Besides my embarrassing fall, my camping trip to Yosemite was super fun. Incredible Adventures took 9 of us from the hostel to the park for two days (for free!) to go camping, do a bit of hiking, ride around the park in a van, and drink beer.

We had a nice barbeque on the first night with corn on the cob (a novelty for a French guy in the group, who could not get ENOUGH corn on the cob), grilled squash, scallions, green peppers, salad, chicken wings, tri-tip steaks, veggie burgers, chips and salsa, and bread and cheese. Oh, and lots of beer. At the end of the night, we all collapsed into our tents and slept like logs, especially because it was so lovely and warm out.

Never before on a camping trip have I slept in shorts with NO socks. Girl scout camping trips in Michigan usually involved sleeping in my coat, jeans, three pairs of socks, a turtle fur, and gloves, with my sleeping bag pulled over my head so that I couldn't actually see my breath in front of me. In the mornings we'd usually wake up with frost on our sleeping bags and frozen tears on our faces. Man, Girl scouts was fun.

During the day at Yosemite, we went on a hike to Sentinel Dome, which provided some awesome views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome (which I hiked on my last trip), and El Capitan. Later, we drove closer to El Capitan and tried to spot rock-climbers hanging from the side. We saw a few, clinging like ants to the sheer face of the peak. Why anyone would intentionally go on a greuling, uphill, rock-climbing expedition where you have to sleep on a little ledge and pee into a bucket for three days is beyond me, but some people are into that sort of thing. Some people also paid money to go see Gigli, so there's really no accounting for human behavior.

On the way back from Yosemite, my ears went all funny from the altitude and now, a full day and a half later, I still can't hear fully out of my right ear. Let's hope permanent hearing loss isn't an additional souvenir -- along with my scraped knee -- from the Yosemite trip. Only time will tell...

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