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Yosemite National Park

It has been 2 years since I last visited Yosemite and this time around I came with the intentions of hiking Half Dome. Lately I have been on a roll in terms of securing hiking permits through the internet. Half Dome just so happens to be one the hikes I applied for and won surprisingly. For those that don’t know, Half Dome is a exclusive hike limited to 200 people a day. The trail is roughly 14-15 miles roundtrip and takes an average individual about 8-10 hours to complete. The last part of the trail consists of hiking up towards a steep rock that requires holding onto steel cables to pull yourself up. It’s extremely strenuous and not recommended for those scared of heights or has limited physical capabilities.

So I had won 6 permits and quickly assembled my hiking crew since the trip was coming up fast. Right when I think everything is going to be smooth I find out that the week of my trip was going to be hit with heavy thunderstorms. This is an issue since it is highly advised by the State Park to not ascend Half Dome during bad weather because it could cost one their life. By then we had already booked our flights and decided there was no turning back on the trip.

A few days before the trip I discover that someone had died attempting to hike the Half Dome during the rain. I took this as a warning from above that it will not be wise to hike the full trail knowing that we could also end up in the news. The day of our trip finally arrived and we played close attention to the weather. Literally the night before our journey we each saw on our apps that the valley was expected to receive more rain so we decided to pack light. We said to each other Half Dome is out of the picture so why bother being over prepared….

The hiking crew :Photo by the talented @HungryForAdventures

The next day arrives and guess what…. the rain never showed up. I was in total shock. The morning of our planned hike had some signs that it was going to be cloudy but then the sky had cleared up completely! As me and the crew explored other scenic points around the park, we each wondered when the rain was going to hit… but it never did. I came across a park ranger and asked about her recommendation in hiking Half Dome… The Ranger herself said “This is perhaps the most beautiful day ever to hike Half Dome!” Ranger had also underestimated the weather and said was expecting for the worst but that’s the thing about Yosemite Valley is that the weather is always unpredictable.

By the time we realized the rain was not going happen at all, it was too late to even start the hike and we did not pack our essentials with us. We took the L and decided to continue on with our exploration of the park. It would have been nice to do the Half Dome but I also appreciated my time in the outdoors with my friends. I’m still determined to return one day and conquer this popular trail.

After spending a couple of days in the wilderness, we headed straight to the Bay Area to enjoy the remainder of our trip.

Marisol meets mariposa

Dancing to live Cumbia in the streets of Mission District

Our friends Hung and Bri had been hyping us up the whole time about this popular Peruvian restaurant called Limon. I been craving Peruvian ceviche ever since my adventure to Peru and this was my opportunity to relive that experience. At first bite, I was quickly reminded of the exotic taste that this dish carries and wanted to savor the moment for as long as I could. The dining experience was one of the highlights of the trip and I want to believe that this made up for the Half Dome fail.

All in all, Yosemite was great and just as beautiful as my first visit there. San Francisco is a city that will always be dear to my heart for it’s art, culture, and food scene. The trip was relaxing for the most part and I’m sure I’ll get my chance to ascend the glorious Half Dome someday. For now I’m ready to see other parts of the world…

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