Kyle and I went on a trip to Yosemite recently and had some wild adventures. You can read part I (our backwoods camping experience) here.
Day 2 - Pohono Trail & 4-Mile Loop Trail
Starting Point: Bridalveil Creek
Elevation: 7,500 feet
End Point: Bridalveil Falls (back to our car)
After a cold and pretty restless night, we awoke with the daylight to a frozen over tent and surroundings. We made breakfast, Wildway of course, before packing up and heading out back on the Pohono Trail.
This was, BY FAR, my absolute favorite part of our entire trip. We were completely alone in nature with nothing but the sounds of birds and our footsteps. The sun shone through the trees so beautifully, it brought me completely in the moment.
And then we saw a bear. Or a bear butt, rather. The darn thing was actually more scared of me than I was of him (which I thought was impossible). He ran off as soon as we turned the corner. He hopped down off a tree and sprinted away, leaving us with a lovely view of his rump for all of 2 seconds. Nonetheless, I saw a bear and it didn't eat me. Crossing that one off the list!
While I had just faced my fear, it was now time for Kyle to face his. Confession on Kyle's behalf: he's scared of heights (don't tell him I told you). Taft Point is a viewpoint that overlooks most of Yosemite Valley. It's gorgeous, but the view comes with a knife edge that can make your stomach drop just looking at it.
There is railing at one part that allows you to get extremely close to the edge without feeling like you're about to die. (Although in Kyle's case he still felt like he was going to die)
And if you are super gutsy, you can walk out onto the ledge with zero railings....
While I was snapping pictures from the rail, Kyle went to the no-railing ledge to "check things out". I was SHOCKED when he yelled my name and I looked over to find him on said ledge. I was so proud of him.
It was my turn next, and even though I'm not scared of heights, being out there definitely gets your heart pumping a little faster.
Oh, you know, just dangling my feet over a 7500 foot cliff...
Now that we had both faced our fears (bears & heights, check & check), we continued on through the forest on the last stretch of the secluded part of our hike.
We arrived at Glacier Point, which was PACKED with people. For good reason too - because the views were impeccable. And there's also a bus that will take you straight to Glacier Point, which makes it accessible to everyone. Kyle and I did it the hard way though, we earned this view!
After soaking up the beauty and refueling, we headed down the "4 Mile Loop" which is really a 5 mile, 58 switchback path all the way back down to the Valley floor.
Again, the scenery was gorgeous, but when we finally reached the bottom, we were so ready to be done for the day (we were a little sore!). We thought the 4-mile loop would spit us out close to our car....but unfortunately, we still had another 4 miles to go through the Valley floor until we reached Bridalveil Falls where we had parked. I don't think I've ever hiked so fast in my life! We finally made it back to the car where I immediately stripped off my pack, shoes, and socks. Such relief, I tell you.
The rest of the night we set up camp at the Upper Pines Campsite and enjoyed sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate. It's the little things, people. :)
Stay tuned for part III