If your family and friends are anything like mine, they probably associate the word adventure with the traditional definition; Adventure: a) an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. In my life, these folks see the Holiday Inn as “roughing it” and think I am crazy for spending vacation exploring dangerous activities like backpacking and climbing. It has been my own personal experience that most of these people think that there is no place for them in the outdoors and that they will avoid adventure and stick with the city. After spending a week in Yosemite National Park, I can assure you that adventure is for everyone and here is my experience.
A few months ago my cousin received the coolest birthday present- his parents gave him a guided day of photography with the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. I have always dreamed of being a photographer, so when I was asked if I would like to go with him, I immediately jumped all over it. Being an avid outdoorsman, my first thought was that I absolutely had to climb the iconic Half Dome while I was there. So six months in advance I got my permit to climb, and planned to hike as much as I could in one of America’s greatest gems. Upon arrival, me permit day was forecast as rainy, snowy and foggy, and immediately my dreams of Half Dome were gone.
Disappointed at first, I was forced to find a new adventure, in a new way. Throughout the week I was reminded that adventure has another definition; Adventure: b) an exciting or remarkable experience. If you are open to new and exciting experiences, then the adventure will find you. My week in Yosemite Valley was just that, nothing short of remarkable and inspiring and included some hiking, lots of photography, laughing and inspiration.
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and this week provided the exact adventure that my life needed… a get-away from stress. I have always looked to the outdoors when I wanted an escape, but not always this way. If the weather had been perfect that day I would have attempted the 14 hour day, not spent time with family and missed out on some of the best photo’s (in my opinion) that I have ever taken. By missing out on Half Dome’s cable route, I found creativity and serenity (not to mention other amazing hikes in the park which many people don’t ever think about.)
By the end of the week I was ready to quit my job and be a park ranger. I must say this is a frequent feeling I get when I head back to the city, but something about Yosemite Valley brings peace. I encourage you to add this amazing national treasure to your bucket list. Please enjoy some of the photograph’s from that week.