Within in the past month, I’ve gone hiking more times than I ever have in my entire life. One would think that Pdho had something to do with it. Although, he was the first person to take me to Muir Woods, many of these bigger hikes were actually organized by my other friends including this trip to Yosemite. YM came up with the idea of hiking Half Dome. Admittedly, if anyone had asked me to do this at any other time in the past, I probably would not have been up for it, but I figured if I was ever physically ready for it, it would be now… so why the heck not! So about 11 of us rented a cabin and headed out one weekend.

We tried to get an early start, but we still ended up beginning a little after 8am. After all, with 11 people, you can imagine it takes a while to rally the troops and get out the door in time, but I think we did pretty well.
As you can tell, the hike to Half Dome was about 7 miles one way… which means by the end of the day we would have hiked almost 15 miles. Up to this point, I think the furthest I ever hiked was 4 miles or something… and that was with very little elevation. Yikes!
The weather was really nice, so it made the hike that much more enjoyable. Not only was it not too hot, but the scenery was really beautiful. The trees, the water, the river running through and the rainbows. It really gave me a greater appreciation of nature especially for an established nature-hater like me. Haha!
The beginning part of the hike had us heading up past by Vernal Falls. Wow, was it tough. I could feel my quads burning like crazy! I think the climb is 1000 feet to the top of Vernal Falls, and we were literally climbing up steps right alongside the waterfall. I really want to emphasize “climb”, because it literally was. Aside from my legs being on fire, it was actually really cool… with the water spraying all over the place. The picture above isn’t out of focus. It is the waterfall raining on us.
I had never been so happy to reach the top of anything. We were soaked from sweat and water. We were such a mess, but it felt so good to shed a few layers so we could dry off. Some of us shed more than others. Haha! 😉
This is Nevada Falls. By this point, the sun was up and shining brightly so I pulled out my hiker’s hat to make sure and cover me from the sun. Looking at the picture now, I think I look pretty darn silly. I’m a like a gym rat that got plopped in the middle of the forest or something. Haha!
Pdho and PKim were probably the two fittest of the bunch, especially PKim. He totally took off and made it back down to the car almost an hour ahead of us.

Over 4 hours later, we reached the foot of Half Dome! That line scaling the side of Half Dome is full of people.

The view from here was truly amazing. It was well worth the horribly steep hike. Not sure if I could ever or would ever do it again though. I’m getting old… my body can’t take the abuse.

This was toward the end of the day but right before it started to get dark. The hike down was not as scenic. In fact, the trail was a bunch of switchbacks and filled with dung all along the way down. It was gross. Plus, we were so tired, we just wanted to get down to the bottom as fast as we could. Nevertheless, it was a very full day and we were pooped by the end. All in all, it was worth it and I’m very glad I did it.

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