Last Thursday, after school was out, five Assistant Scout Masters, one Scout, and I drove to Yosemite for the trip of a lifetime. We got into our campsite at about 9:30Pm. I guess you could say it was "dark out". We quickly set up our tents and went to sleep, because we knew what was awaiting us the following day. We woke up at 5:00am, so that we could get started on our 16+ mile journey. As soon as we parked and got out of the car we all took out our cameras, and took a picture of our goal. This is the shot I got:
We divided into two Groups. One that was going to the top and another that was going to the furthest point anyone can go without a permit. Two ASMs were going to the furthest point without a permit. The rest of us were going to the top. The group that was going to the top had a faster pace than the other group, because we knew just how far we had to go. As we hiked up the mist trail we stared in awe at the falls we were passing, along with the stairs that constantly beat up our legs, one step at a time. We got to the top of the falls, and took a few pictures, but we couldn't stay long. We had to keep moving. Once we found the trail we continued on to be confronted with another water fall. Like the previous one, we stopped to take pictures. We got to the top of the final water fall and had about a mile and a half of flat land to walk on. Then the fun would start. We got back to the climbing and back to the seemingly endless view of trees. Before we got to the line where we needed our permits, we stopped for some lunch. Yummy, a ham sandwich on a bagel. We grabbed our permits and headed up half dome. We got to the base of the ropes and got ready for a steep climb.
We found a few people that were staying behind from another group and asked if they could watch our packs as we climbed Half Dome. They generously accepted. We got our Carabiners, and ropes, strapped ourselves in, and headed up the 45 degree rock face. We got up to the top and breathed a sigh of relief. We took many pictures, and headed back down knowing that the hardest part was still ahead. We got down grabbed our packs and headed down the mountain. One of the scary parts about going downhill was twisting an ankle, or getting dehydrated. We safely got down to the first falls, having already changed our socks to try to prevent blisters. We approached the falls and met up with one of the other ASMs. We were quickly informed that the other ASMs had to go back because of fitness reasons. We were all tired and wanted to be back at the cars, so that we could get some victory pizza. We had 4 miles left, and a lot of switch backs. The other scout and I decided to have some fun by running. That joy lasted about a mile. So we had to walk, because we knew we would have to wait for the rest of the group. We walked very slowly, and the pain started to kick in. We waited for the rest of the group at 2.2 miles to go. When we got going again it was at a very slow pace, but it was faster than the rest of the group. As we got roughly 1 mile to the valley floor I noticed that I was pulling the map out every 3 minutes. Each time hoping there would be a "you are here" dot, but there wasn't. We finally got to the valley floor. We knew that the car was half a mile away. I got into my racing mindset. I ramped up the speed and when the car was 100 meters away I leaped from the huge pack of 2 and won the race back to the car. That win made the pizza 10 times better. I would then pay for that win for the next 4 days, with constant pain throughout my entire lower body. That really was the "Trip of a lifetime".