The first week I was in Yosemite I went on a long run/hike. I started in Camp 4 where I was camping and went up Yosemite Falls trail, west to Eagle Point and I couldn’t resist another five miles to reach the summit of El Capitan.
Yosemite Falls trail is extremely popular and I had company the whole way. Several made smart remarks since I was running and not groveling up the trail or they were startled as I approached quickly. Most were startled on my descent. Dropping almost four thousand feet in three and half miles is quite exciting, especially when one has to navigate through tourists, switchbacks and rocky trail. Controlled madness.
I ran into a couple of Norwegians at the top of El Capitan. They had just finished a few days on the wall, climbing the route Lurking Fear. The look on their face showed they had been climbing and camping on the wall for several days. I shared a little bit of joy and excitement with them as I too had reached the summit, granted an easier approach. I guess this depends on one’s perspective.
I ran across a school group at Eagle Point. They were being guided with a school from San Francisco. They were spending two or three weeks in the back country hiking around. Sounded like an amazing school trip. Wish I had that opportunity in school. They seemed pretty excited about the surrounding landscape but were not thrilled about their nine mile hike the next day. And I was in the middle of an eighteen mile outing and feeling good. Oh how perspectives change. I finished up the run with a soak in the cool Merced River.