When my Colorado hiking buddy Annmarie asked about interest in a road trip to Yosemite (6 months ago), I said heck yeah.  Why not?  There’s tons of hikes & I’ve never been.

Road trip?  Whew – it’s a long way to California but then again, why not?  The trip was scheduled over my birthday, perfect way to celebrate – in the great outdoors!

Started our western trek from Denver – John taking the first shift behind the wheel to Grand Junction, near the Utah border.  Gotta say I missed the next 3-4 hours as I caught zzz’s in anticipation of my shift 2-5am near Cedar City, Utah.  That’s when we left civilization.  No cell reception, no food, no gas.  Car kill count: 2 birds & 4 rabbits. Entering Nevada, we drove hour after hour through desert on the Extraterrestrial Highway hugging Area 51.  The truth really is out there 🙂

Daybreak…more cactus, lack of fuel – nestled among large scenic canyons.  Located a small station just over the California border & shelled out almost $5/gallon.  Next focus – food.   Diner breakfast at Nicely’s, check done.

30 minutes more, Yosemite.  Stopped for a few pics & reentered the lottery for Half Dome – an amazing cable climb high on my Yosemite wish list.  Failed to secure a hiking permit for a Thursday climb; but no worries, there’s always Friday.

Lottery Results – CABLES ON HALF DOME – Daily Lottery 2013


We are sorry to inform you that you were not successful in securing a permit to hike to the summit of Half Dome from the Cables on Half Dome Lottery.

Another hour half to our campsite in Hetch Hetchy.  Couldn’t check in for 2 hours – kinda weird since we were camping but no biggie, just road weary.  Plan A – shower & sleep by a pool near the lodge (where some folks rent cabins).

10 minutes of shut eye, then was abruptly awakened by a fire marshal who commanded everyone to evacuate immediately.  A HUGE forest fire – the Rim Fire – had grown quickly & was only mere miles away.  CHAOS.  No cell reception.  No one could provide information.  Just folks yelling to leave, leave NOW & instructions to go to a Red Cross Relief Center in Yosemite Valley (an hour plus away).  Roads were closed west to San Francisco, east & south Yosemite our only choices.

Fire drama had permeated our group – bad mojo.  Found a place to sleep, then sadly headed back to Colorado the following day.

The drive back via Fresno, Bakersfield, Death Valley & Las Vegas was far longer than our trek across the Nevada desert…but 20 hours later we returned to Colorado – John & I switching off every hour on the hour, staying alert in the early a.m.

In a world dominated by social media, we see only happy snapshots of our friends & family’s lives.  It’s not realistic however that life rolls without any bumps along the way.

I felt a bit beaten at 5am Friday – but super relieved to be home.  I pull strength from my Colorado surroundings — from the Flatirons (my mountains), from our 300 days of annual sunshine, from the snow.  Colorado is my home.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  We cannot build faith/character without being tested.  AND it’s how we carry ourselves in these less than perfect circumstances which shows growth.

Yosemite will happen another time.

Disappointed, of course – but I feel a Colorado hike in my near future & it’s there I feel close to God.


25 Habits Of People Who Are Happy, Healthy & Successful


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