January 8, 2017
As I write this, water is purging, flooding, surging toward the lowlands. All roads into Yosemite Valley have been closed due to the year’s biggest storm.
Thinking of Yosemite, the last hike I did was this past autumn. The trailhead parking lot was closed, so Andrew and I walked from Tioga Road to the trailhead.
All of the concessions in the high country were shut down for the year and the crowds had dispersed. We had the trail to ourselves that chilly morning as we made our way to Elizabeth Lake.
Not a soul was in sight.
Even the animals were gone. No squirrels, no birds, no deer, no bugs to be seen. There was a strange stillness to the forest without them.
Equally strange was knowing that we were the only two people in the world at the lake at that time.
The wind howled down the mountain as we stood in the field taking it all in.
Thinking back, that was a special trip with Andrew. Presently, it is raining and the wind is blowing, typical January weather. Having been in a drought for so long, it seems strange to see the local creeks and ponds swollen with water. Little waterfalls have popped up in unexpected places. Nothing like Yosemite though.
On this blustery day, I did a quick review of last year’s goals to help with the setting of new ones. I walked over 630 miles on both trail and pavement last year. My goal this year is to increase that number. A fresh calendar hangs on our kitchen wall begging to be filled with things to do.
Sometime this year I will revisit two of my favorite lakes in Yosemite: Granite and Spillway Lakes. There are backpacking excursions to plan and a trip into Kings Canyon National Park to add to the calendar. There is the annual hike with Joseph in a couple of weeks, and another with Andrew later this year. Snowshoeing treks, wildflower walks, and camping trips have me excited and will eventually make their way onto the calendar.
As I anticipate the coming year, I pray that this storm does not do as much damage as in 1997. Then, Yosemite Valley was flooded and the park closed for two months. We will see how it all pans out. Until next month…stay warm and dry.