The Sierras, at Last

Summer has long past, but I still find myself dwelling in the peace of this long week in mid-July. 

It started with a drive in the dark through the Central Valley of California to the Sierra. My body was humming with electricity. In the car was my boyfriend Eric, and good friend Malina. Waiting in Yosemite was a large portion of my extended family. When I was a kid we would meet along the Merced in the valley every summer for a week. Many of my most treasured childhood memories come from these times. 

My Mom and I in Yosemite, late 90's

Something happens and the magical summers of childhood are washed away. Still, I often think about nights past my bed-time gathered around a campfire, or laying on a Sandy Beach of the Merced as my Gramps pointed out stars to me. I remember the smell of dusty pine baking in the heat of a Sierra summer sun as I wiggled between gargantuan boulders with my cousins. 

We spent the first morning exploring the large meadow across the road from Curry Village with my cousins.

Afterwards we all traveled with the throngs of tourists to Glacier Point. 

Tunnel View is the classic introduction to Yosemite, but you have to fight the other tourists to get your shot.

We climbed Sentinel Dome in the midst of a brewing distant thunderstorm. 

Later that week we ventured up the other wall of the valley and explored Tenya Lake. Of course, by explore I intend you to understand that we played in meadows, swam in crystal clear lake water, and perhaps even awoke a creature from the deep. We also rafted down the Merced and jumped off a bridge. 

It's almost enough to make me miss summer.