Up at 5:30 am. Made coffee in my tent with my butane burner. Left campsite at 6.

Was heading towards the Swinging Bridge parking area, as the parking area by the 4-mile trailhead was closed. Well, so the Swinging Bridge parking was now closed even though I’d parked the night before to call my mother. WHY?

Had to drive to other side of the Merced, and walk about half a mile to the 4-mile trailhead. Well, the trail was closed. Apparently a rock slide occurred the day before. I was tempted to just go around, but I detest armed federals. Didn’t want men with guns making my day bad.

I headed back towards the other side of the river to hike up the Yosemite Falls trail. Had trouble finding it’s beginning. By 9 am I was hiking up it. I lost 2 hours rambling around from 4-mile to here. This irritated me.

So did the steepness of the Yosemite Falls trail. I’m not opposed to going uphill, or steepness, or sweating profusely (as I did), but this trail bit me. A problem many don’t understand is that I have size 15 shoes, and I have to be very precise with where I place my foot every step. Stairs and rocks are much bigger for smaller feet. Therefore there is a bigger margin of error as to where you place your feet when they’re small. You don’t have to be so precise. With big feet you do.

The views along the way up are obscured by foliage. You don’t have grand sweeping views of the Valley as you trudge upwards, and this demotivates. Frankly, this almost makes the trail not worth the while. Though, the view at the base of the upper falls is something else. Man that water roars. You could feel cold mist filtering through the trees hundreds of feet away from where that water crashes into the rocks.

Here I knew I was about half done. There was another run of steep switchbacks to conquer. This took me about 1.5 hours of more intense sweating before, after 3 hours, I was looking down upon the top of Yosemite Falls.

It’s an anticlimactic view. It’s hard to grasp the awesomeness of these falls from above. Their best views are from the valley below.

I then decided to continue on to Yosemite Point, which is another mile of hiking (and another mile back) with an ascent of an additional 500′ making my total ascent to be about 2,900′ for the day. It was worthwhile. The cool wind balanced perfectly with the warm sun at 7,000′. Yosemite Point is awesome. The view of Half Dome epitomizes the uniqueness of this amazing part of Commifornia. I could have stayed here for hours taking hundreds of photos, especially as the day came more to sunset. However, I didn’t want to walk that trail down in the cold, dark.

Before I left I had a man take a photo for me at Yosemite Point. We talked. He was from Switzerland, though now lives in Santa Fe. Our conversation was agreeable at first. It then broached politics and religion. Of course he was a liberal-athiest-mystic (which means gobbledygook to me), and it was fun to fence with him.

Seriously, many of these spiritual liberals are dolts…

HIM: “I don’t like belief systems. I believe they close the mind.”

ME: “Well, you do understand your belief about belief systems is a belief itself, right? Thus, you have belief systems.”

I don’t recall his response because it was incoherent. There was also…

HIM: “I don’t like the word ‘experience.’ It limits our consciousness.”

ME: “Ok. What verb would you use to replace ‘experience’ to describe what happens to us in all moments at a conscious, subconscious and spiritual level?”

HIM: “I don’t want to use a verb.”

ME: “Well, what part of speech would you use? Or you want to invent a new one?”

Again, more incoherence. Then, lastly, there was…

ME: “Science is an abstraction. It is not a tangible thing in reality. It doesn’t have a mouth or lips to speak words. Therefore, science doesn’t say anything. People employing scientific methodology say things, and those may or may not be true, because people can err and lie. Regardless, science and truth are not necessarily synonymous.”

HIM: “You are undermining science.”

More topics were broached, like lockdowns and chemtrails and my faith Jesus Christ (which he really wanted to scorn most). Every opinion of his I could have heard on CNN. It still shocks me to see people think they have independent minds yet have beliefs that mirror the mainstream narrative 100%. I’ll never get used to it. I’ll never accept it as “ok.”

Thereafter, it was time to head down. This took me about 3 hours. Though I don’t sweat as much going down, my size 15 shoes make it even more important that I deliberately place each and every step, which makes me go slow. It also hurts more.

By 6 pm I was at my Yaris. 11 hours of hiking, with some breaks here and there. I was tired. Headed back to camp for avocados and chorizo. Showered and was asleep by 9.