Immediately recognizable to most climbers: Yosemite National Park.
Well, to be honest we haven't climbed at all in the valley. We went down to check it out, but it's too hot and crowded for our liking. Not to mention full of mosquitos. We drove right on through when we arrived, except to stop and take some pictures.
We spent most of the last week and a half in the eastern half of the park around Tuolumne Meadows. Yet again we arrived at a destination off season, but for a change we were actually early instead of late. As most of the climbing is over 8000 feet in elevation, spring is just arriving. There is snow everywhere.
The Tuolumne Meadows campground wasn't even open when we showed up, along with several state campgrounds just outside the park. We ended up sleeping in the car, and barely got a site in the one campground that opened the next day.
Our campsite is at 9500 feet in elevation. Advantages include no mosquitos and a snow bank outside our tent. At least for a while we don't have to buy ice for the cooler.
I'll post about the climbing here (which, not surprisingly, is pretty awesome) later, but today marks 3 months since we started our trip. With little more to do than manage our day to day life (pretty much climbing, eating and sleeping), there has been a lot of time for reflection. What comes to mind now are the recent times on this trip that I've felt completely content.
Like the day, driving back to our campsite from the grocery store in Bishop, with the beautiful Eastern Sierras in front of me, and the song 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' by the Eagles playing on the radio.
Or just last week, belaying Kristal on the 4th pitch of The Boltway, sitting high over Tenaya Lake, with a clear blue sky and an incredible view, watching the tourists, probably only here for a weekend getaway from their hectic lives, scramble around on the slabs 300 feet below me.
Or yesterday, when we spent a rare morning just relaxing around the campsite, sitting in the warm sun with a cool breeze blowing, the sound of our nearby creek rushing and birds singing in the background.
It's hard not to be content when you see things like this every day.
There are things I miss of course. Friends and family for sure. As incredible as this trip has been, I look forward to hitting some of the old local destination with the climbers back home.
We also aren't as up to date on what is going on in the world. I wish I could have watched some of the World Cup. I will miss watching the stages of the Tour de France. But those are minor things compared to the life we are living. We go to bed and wake up with the sun. We spend our days outside, doing what we love. For now I can think of nothing better.