yosemite (2017)

One of the reasons I love traveling is being able to see God’s faithfulness along the journey, every step of the way.  So, when Camel invited me to join her on an adventure to Yosemite National Park a couple weeks back, the only answer possible was “yes”.

Processed with VSCO with f3 preset

Here we go adventuring to Yosemite (aka let me show you how faithful my God is)



started the journey off at 6 am on fri march 31st. miracle #1, camel arrived at my house on time.


thus we headed out for a ~5 hour drive to yosemite.  miracle#2: two/three hours north, i realized i left my hiking shoes in the driveway of my house right before we passed Bakersfield.   so thankfully we were able to pitstop in Bakersfield so i could…


grab a pair of sneakers at the place that has everything you could need in the world. miracle#3: these babies survived at least 24 miles of hiking over two days without giving me blisters or bloody toes.


we drove straight up to yosemite when our awesome Yosemite guide and driver, Kristin, noticed her car was almost out of gas… and we had driven past the nearest gas station a while back… miracle#4: gas station in the nick of time (ie gas meter had been resting on E for while, gas light turned on, triple A card was in hand ready to be called…)

but then we got to yosemite and it was amazing.

tunnel view

miracle #5:

miracle #5

our fifth miracle came in the form of a beautiful human being: our wonderful personal unofficial Yosemite adventure guide, park ranger, trail master, driver, humble leader, and selfless host. without her, we would have probably died somewhere.

five miracles have passed and now it was time to hike the upper yosemite falls trail.

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
(map and stats courtesty of YosemiteHikes and National Park Service)
7.2 miles round trip
6,526 feet [2,700 ft elevation gain]
Difficulty: Strenuous [might i add: extremely challenging, tortuous, death level]
Round Trip Time: 6-8 hours from trailhead

upper yosemite falls hike: you get to go to the top of the waterfall!

day 1. still friday. 1:30 pm. hike 1.


a little late start but here we go.  path looked alright as we headed up.


lunched midpoint w/ some Trader Joe salads – however, per our Yosemite National Park tour guide Kristin noting afterwards, eating lunch in the middle of an intense hike isn’t the brightest idea… …our bad…

despite all body’s energy being utilized to digest our salads, we continued our journey up the mountain – no turning back.  miracle#6: we I made it to the top… normally I don’t like to call myself out on these things but Camel + Kristin made it up fine.  I, on the other hand, was praying every 5 minutes “O Lord, help me up this mountain please. All I need to do is live.” and the Lord answered.

amazing view, you need to climb this for yourself

Despite telling my group to leave me behind every ten minutes, they [so kindly and lovingly] hauled my butt with them up the the mountain for an amazing, beautiful, indescribable, breathtaking view.

was it worth it? heck yeah

most people aim to be at the bottom of the mountain by 5 pm before dark…we started heading down the mountain around 5 pm (oops heh…a little late! ) miracle#7: we miraculously made it down without any injuries around 7/7:30 just as dark dusk -the point where it becomes pitch black- crept upon the mountains and and our Camel + my chances of survival drop exponentially…Kristin would probably survive.

day 1 hike: completed
body fatigue level: 95%


MIRACLE #8: this wonderful hotel/motel situation just 20 min outside the park complete with private jacuzzi used as our hot tub. thank you Uncle Al for finding us our housing accommodations.

When we drove into our hotel lot around 8:30 pm, we asked the front desk if there were any local places open for dinner because we were starving from our 1,000,000,000,000 mile hike… the front desk bluntly told us the hotel’s restaurant closed at 8:30. way to DISSSSAAAAPOINT.

But, BY THE MIRACLE OF GOD, while driving by, Kristin noticed the restaurant still looking busy.  Because, according to the philosophy of Camel, the worst that could happen is a “NO”, we went in around 8:50…and found out the restaurant had decided to stay open until 9 pm because it was hoppin – thank you hotel guests.

miracle #9: with ten minutes to spare, we had a dinner of champions complete with clam chowder, endless salad bar, beets, buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and burger.

bellies full & bodies clean – we went to bed exhausted ready to take on day 2.


we woke up. and everything hurt.
luckily, 2/3rds of the adventure crew comprised on physical therapists.
morning time was for body fixing & breakfast.

day 2. hike 2. also 1:30 pm.

Vernal Falls & Nevada Falls Trail
(map and stats courtesty of YosemiteHikes and National Park Service)

Vernal Fall Footbridge
Distance: 1.6 mi round trip
Elevation Gain: 400 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Round Trip Time: 1-1.5 hours (from trailhead)

Top of Vernal Fall
Distance: 2.4 mi round trip (via Mist Trail)
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Round Trip Time: 3 hours (from trailhead)

Top of Nevada Fall
Distance: 5.4 mi round trip (via Mist Trail)
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft
Difficulty: Strenuous
Round Trip Time: 5-6 hours (from trailhead)

to get to our hike, we got to take the national park shuttle. except, every bus that passed was completely full. miracle #10: Camel managed to get the bus driver to squeeze on three small girls onto the bus. miracles happen.

this was a gorgeous + steep hike. lots of rushing water and rainbows!


this hike was not as bad, but still pretty killer. if upper yosemite was 90% difficult, vernal/nevada falls was 75% difficult. so it was also a miracle (#11) we I made it up and down alive.

chillin on top of nevada falls

on our last day in yosemite, camel wanted to catch the sun as it fell upon half dome. due to my slow but steady hiking non-skills, adventure team had to adjust their pace. (did i tell you how thankful i am for them?) but, alas, sundown was approaching and time was running out. we needed to make the sunset. so for our last 2-3 miles, we booked it and (miracle #12:) ran the rest of the way down the mountain just in time to catch the sun falling upon the famed half dome.

beautiful, just beautiful

our hiking totals for day 2.


for our next night, we had the privilege and honor to be housed and fed by Yosemite Park guide Kristin’s absolutely delighting family … and we were so blessed by their family [grandma, uncles, sisters, brothers, parents all included) extending such warm hospitality and love. i can confidently say their love for us was one of the ways we saw God loving and taking care of us (miracle thanksgiving #13).


BSF time

By Day 3, Sunday, it was time to head home. Lovely morning spent eating dark chocolate oatmeal, trail mix, and God’s word before heading out.

sorry team leader, we have failed you (Zzzzz…)

our fearless team leader led the way home as camel and i KO-ed. that’s a wonderful ending for a great trip.


what can i say but that God is good to give me one heck of a bffl

she’s my one and only, forever

i considered ending this post with a beautiful shot of yosemite, but, i thought this one was more fitting.


2 Replies to “yosemite (2017)”

  1. I love this!! What a great way to capture our trip!!! Had me laughing so hard almost throughout the entire read!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s