This year, we decided to have a low key vacation, so we headed up to Yosemite for 10 days. We spent the first half of the trip in Wawona (South Yosemite) and the 2nd half in Tuolumne Meadows (North East). Wawona was beautiful - quiet, friendly, and the creek was beautiful. Tuolumne was pretty, but FREEZING!
We spent most of the trip relaxing, except for our HALF DOME CLIMB on Day 4. Holy Cow, was that a difficult hike! Of the three notable hikes we've done together (Cinque Terre, Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Half Dome), this was definitely the most challenging. The hike/climb is 16.4 miles, but silly us parked a mile from the trailhead, extending the journey to about 18 1/2 miles. Taking the entire day to complete, it was the ultimate full body workout, and the views on top of Half Dome were priceless. Climbing the rock was exhilerating and scary, but we made it! The return trip was incredibly exhausting and we ran out of water, so we stopped at the top of Nevada Falls for a drink - the water tasted fantastic and luckily we didn't get giardia!! The next day we could barely walk, and we both decided that this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. Awesome, but NEVER AGAIN! Katie might do it again some day, but it will take A LOT of convincing!
Towards the end of the trip, in Tuolumne Meadows, Brandon W., Erin, Brandon L., Tamara L., and Ashley joined us for a fun, but very cold, two days. It was great to see them - it's been awhile!