It has been close to a year since I last posted anything to this blog. For almost 5 years I posted regularly, capturing my thoughts, my passion, my purpose journey and our travels as a family. This past year has been a different one, a year filled with meeting a lot of new people and investing all of my energy and passion into my new endeavor. I’ve also been spending more time with Buddy, our first family dog, as well as being available for our teenagers. It’s been a very interesting transition from being an active participant in our kids lives, to now being more of a support system. Part of me thinks I should have engaged this mindset a bit sooner yet we are where we are.
Today, as I sit at a cabin just outside of Yosemite National Park, I believe it’s time to start blogging again. I believe it’s time to start sharing what is going on inside of me as well as what I see unfolding in the world around us. I believe historians will look back at this time in history as a very memorable period of time. I believe there is an awakening happening, caused by so much hatred and so much pain. I believe that the awakening is causing people to see things for what they really are versus what others want us to see.
Traveling through Yosemite with our son Noah over the past few days has been awe inspiring. We spent the first day in the valley. When we first entered the valley, driving through the tunnel, we saw the famous El Cap. It was truly immense and stood in front of us like a monument to what nature can do. I have watched both Free Solo and Dawn Wall and both movies provided a unique perspective of this amazing place. Noah and I arrived early on Saturday morning and got a good parking spot (I realized later how important getting in early was). We headed to the Visitors Center and asked about renting bikes. They told us to head over to the Yosemite Lodge and they rent bikes there.
So, we jumped on the free shuttle and headed over to get two bikes. Once we picked out our bikes we started on the 12 mile loop around the lower valley. I must say, that bike business must make the park system a TON of money. They rent bikes, that cost maybe $250 brand new, for $36/day or $12/hour. After a week or less the bikes are paid off and the rest is 100% profit. Pretty good little business!
As for our bike ride, we finished the loop in under two hours with a few stops along the way to take pictures. Yosemite Falls was the first worthy picture. There are two cascading falls called the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. They were both pretty amazing, especially the Upper Falls where the water must drop around 2,000 feet. Even from over a mile away it looked massive. We also walked up to Mirror Lake and watch as families were swimming in the water to cool off. Did I mention that the temperature in the valley was around 97 degrees? It was pretty hot. After returning the bikes we grabbed some lunch and headed on a shuttle bus to El Cap. After exiting the bus we started walking to find an entrance to get to the base of the mountain. We found an abandoned trail and had to jump over a few fallen trees and lots of rocks. We finally found the base camp area of El Cap and started the 10 minute hike to the actual base of the wall.
Standing at the base of El Cap and looking up at this amazing slab of granite can put life into perspective. Noah kept saying that he felt so small looking at the mountain and the surrounding rock formations, yet the Valley was just our first stop, and it was pretty inspiring. Hence, the re-birth of this blog!
We exited the Valley to go back to our motel to take a swim in the local swimming hole called Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is this little spot less than a mile from where we are staying and has some rock formations that you can jump off of into this huge swimming hole. We went there the first afternoon we arrived and went back again the second day. We also went to the local super market the first day so we could get some food to cook on the bbq outside our room. We have cooked on the BBQ the last two nights and it was really good.
Our second full day in the park we were told that we should go to see Hetch Hetchy. Compared to the Valley and El Cap and Half Dome, how much more spectacular could that be? So, we headed up to Hetch Hetchy yesterday morning not expecting much. The road out to the park entrance was bumpy and not very nice, so entering the park area was so awe inspiring. We started to enter the area and saw this massive valley below us off the side of the road. This area of the park was, in some ways, more spectacular than the Valley floor itself. We arrived around 9 am and we were the 8th car of the day to enter. For the next 20 minutes we drove with our mouths wide open looking at the vastness that was in front of us. As we made the final turn toward the massive Hetch Hetchy Dam we saw this amazing waterfall in the distance. For those of you who know our son, Noah, you’d know he’s not one for hiking. For the next 3 hours we hiked to this waterfall and back.
The hike as not extremely strenuous, but not easy. The final destination, Wapama Falls, was just spectacular. We spent some time taking pictures and then headed back to the car. After Hetch Hetchy we found a really nice Lodge that had a really good restaurant. We had some lunch and then started driving again. For the next 2 hours we drove up into the mountains towards Tuolomne Meadows. The drive was pretty awesome and we ended up stopping at Tenaya Lake. We were told that a lot of people stop to swim there and we brought our bathing suits with us. We got to the lake and started to walk in and Noah was stopped in his tracks. We were at over 8,000 ft above sea level and the water was a bit chilly. It is funny, because the night before I was showing Noah a video about Wim Hof, the iceman.
We both enjoyed the lake and the swim and then headed back to base camp. We arrived back around 4 pm and stoked up the BBQ again. We got some rest and today we plan to leave a bit later and head to the Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove. We’ve been told that it’s a beautiful part of the park. We will then circle back towards our hotel and stop at Glacier Point to take pictures of Valley from one of the highest points above the Valley floor. Should be a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to making more time to start blogging on a regular basis.
The next phase of this blog will focus on the re-invention of Corporate Alliance, the business that I took over 14 months ago. I am having a great time, meeting some amazing people and looking forward to what the next few years will bring. We will be rebranding the business over the next six months and part of the rebranding will include a video series that will capture the foundational thoughts of what our future looks like. There is still a lot of work to do and I’m excited about where we’re heading.
To a life well lived!