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Dec. 19, 2007
Yosemite Sam’ented in Memory
Until recently, my greatest sin in life was the fact I'd lived in the bay for 10 years and not visited Yosemite. No less than 3 reservations had fallen through over the years, for one reason or another, and I've passed the turn off no less than 100 times: Yosemite was my white whale. Until now.

Now it's a blindingly white, and blue, and gray, and green collage of awesome memories. I have a little saying that goes, 'It's the wanting that makes the getting sweeter.' Never was that so true as in the last week of November, when I finally made my pilgrimage to the grandest glob of granite this side of the Earth's crust. My brain and body have since been processing the experience, thus my delay in blogging.

Mountain bike strapped to the roof, new camera and journal in hand, I and my trusty Subaru headed off for adventure #28,736B. Tioga was closed due to snow when I left, so I started in from the south entrance. I played a bit in the Giant Sequoias of the Mariposa Grove and camped that night on the water at Wawona (one of only 3 camp sites still open). There I shared a fire with a very cool couple from Iowa, working their way down from Alaska, bound for Mexico.

Retirement looks nice.

From there I hit Glacier Point, then down into the valley where I began to develop a condition I've named 'Yosemite Neck'. It's where your neck becomes permanently craned because for five days straight all you do is stare trees, birds, waterfalls, and sheer walls of granite. That valley was designed for laying on your back—which I did plenty of...when I wasn’t on my bike, racing the sun through the trees to El Capitan, that is.

Once in the valley I camped at Upper Pines and Camp 4—never walking more than 20 feet from my car without putting something in a bear canister. Nice being able to make your days up as you go, then walk into a camp site just after sundown without reservations and have your pick of sites.

The place was EMPTY. 3 hours on trail without seeing another human. I was just as lucky with weather. Five days straight of piercing blue skies, hiking in shorts, and squirrels. Lots of squirrels. The nights were starry, fire filled, and serenaded by coyotes choirs. How much humility and grandeur can one guy take though—right?

On day 4 I decided to take a full-loop road trip, heading out through Tuolumne, past Tenaya lake, over the 10,000ft snow filled Tioga Pass, down to Mono Lake, up 395 to 108, over through Senora Pass, back on to 49 and around to the south entrance where I started it all 5 days earlier.

Amazing country we have here in Nor Cal. I always knew it, but that drive somewhat punctuated it. If you have the time, I highly suggest that route.

Just don't forget your Waylon Jennings.
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Office Life

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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