To cap off 2009, my Dad and I took our first jaunt through Yosemite. We drove in on September 12 through the dark to find ourselves at backpacker camp. Well, we didn’t quite make it there, but we were a short walk over a bridge away.

The first day we started at Happy Isles and trekked up the windy John Muir trail up past Nevada falls. All the way up the trail we knew we were doing something wrong as almost everyone was coming down the hill and we were going up, with packs no less. Trudging along though, we made quick time on the trail. At the falls we had a great little lunch and watched the piles of people pass by. We turned right and then took the Panorama trail back over to Illouette falls where we spent the night. The original goal was to make it to glacier point, but both of us were still a little green at the backpacking thing and knew a worse day lay ahead.

The second day we woke up early at around 6 and began the trek to half dome. We worked our way back to Nevada falls and then turned right up the trail towards half dome. The best decision we made was to drop our packs at little yosemite valley. With a lighter load, we slowly cruised up and up. When we got to the sub-dome, my dad had to call it quits and sat out while I climbed up the cables to reach the summit. What was amazing to me was how big half dome actually was. You could play a full on game of football up there! We came back down, going the route of the mist trail this time, and enjoyed a nice liesurely stroll back to the car. After 21 miles and 6000’ of vertical elevation gain, we had far exceeded what I thought we could do. Next year though, Dad is making it to the top!