New job acquired.
The whole weekend off.
Free to roam.
Time to play.
Driving home from Sacramento on Friday I noticed a scenic route that was 20 minutes further and ran by the Camanchi reservoir, which I have never been to or heard of. I realized once I got pretty close to home that I missed a turn right outside of Sac and totally bi-passed the reservoir all together. I was a little irked at myself because I was stoked on exploring an unknown land and body of water and at that point had already got so close to home I wasn’t about to turn back.
To compensate for my wrong turn on Friday when I woke up Saturday I decided to take myself to Yosemite for a day outing. After all, it is pretty much blasphemy that I have tromped all around Thailand and Cambodia but haven’t set foot in one of the most epic places in my own back yard.
I looked up directions and hit the 120 East. Upon arrival I followed the road in utter astonishment.
What is this place!? I asked myself, out loud of course. Along with other questions that started to arise like.. Can I stop here? Am I allowed to play on this rock? Is anything off limits? Have my parents been here? Why is this my first exposure to this land?? (serious blasphemy)
I felt like I was at Scandia mini putt-putt for the first time but instead of being told I couldn’t play inside the castles… I was given permission to get closer to and go in anything I wanted, within my own comfort zone of course. At first I was taking the “dip your toes” approach. Looking around for someone to slap my wrist and tell me I couldn’t play there. But then I started getting bold and stopped wondering if things were aloud or not. I parked when I wanted to stop, got closer to whatever called my name, and climbed things that looked climbable 🙂
Eventually I found myself off the beaten path just enough for a little solitude right in front of this very cool massive rock and dropped my towel. Tall luminous trees circled the area and when I looked up it was like I had a fish eye lens view of sky peaking through the tree tops.
In my yoga zone I noticed 4 people about my age walk by me with crash pads strapped to each of them. Ha, I thought they were cushions to just chill out or something. Thinking to myself, “they have it all figured out, set up a sweet chill spot by a massive boulder and hang out.” It didn’t take me long to figure out that they were bouldering and those cushions were to save them from mother earths unsavory surface should they take a fall. I had hopes of making like minded friends when I started my journey, so it wasn’t long before I walked over and started chit chatting. Tim, Tucker, Joseph and Geneva. How did I get so lucky?
One thing led to another and I was teaching Joseph some acro and he was inviting me to some show they were going to watch Genevas boyfriend play, just south of Yosemite in El Portal that evening. I was in!
This show that Genevas boyfriend, Carter, was playing at wound up being something much more of a privilege to attend than I ever could have imagined. It turned out to be Dean Potters celebration of life. He and a friend recently passed away base jumping from Taft Point this May in Yosemite. Dean Potter had been an affluent part of the Yosemite community for many years and on that evening the community came together to celebrate the amazing, courageous life he lived.
From the show I was invited back to Genevas family cabin in Yosemite West.
Just like that my solo day trip turned into 3 rockin’ days with a handful of cool down to earth people.
3 days packed full of waterfalls, good company, caves, rocks, breathtaking views, yoga, a little yard work and one hilarious game night later, it was time for me to head back home.
As I was walking to my car to head back home Geneva called after me, “Miss you already!” Hah seriously… I know this is a little corny, but it made my heart feel so full. It is beautiful making connections with solid people.
I couldn’t have felt more blessed for having that epic adventure.
The thing I really loved about Yosemite is you will meet people that are willing to go the distance for something they love. Whether it is climbers, kayakers, backpackers, hikers is it like a utopia for any outdoor sport you can think of that you don’t need an ocean for! People leave their homes and move there to work there. People come from all over the world to site see. I am still amazed that I crushed 24.65 years in California never more that 5 hours away at any given time and still hadn’t been there, until now.
I got the national park year entrance card, so game on!!
Below is a clip of the amazing musical talent that the, Killer Whale, bestowed upon us that evening at Dean Potters celebration of life.