Our 6th annual November Yosemite Valley trip has finally come to a close and we’re in the van now, driving back to Tucson. Yesterday’s climbing day had the psyche but not the juice to pull off any big sends. No big deal though, as we are all very tired and extremely satisfied. Stats from our stellar trip:
Days climbed: 10 out of 14
Days rained out: zero
Problems sent: too many to count
Routes climbed: zero, although we did rope up to suss the moves out on a highball boulder problem – Spock Was Here, v6
Hikes: two big ones and many small ones
Bike rides: too many to count
Dinner at the Curry Pizza Deck: twice, exclusively reserved for days of big sends
Marshmallows cooked over a campfire: a whole bag minus 3
Dog poop incidents: one, involving Ivan and his bike
Bear poop incidents: one, involving Silas and his shoe
Major first aid incidents: only one! Last trip Silas banged the blunt end of an ax on his head, this trip he just peeled off…oh I dunno…5 or 6 layers of skin from his middle finger in a bike crash
Minor first aid incidents: two. Ivan cheese-grated his face skidding off a slab climb and Paul bit it on the fire ring walking across camp to go pee late at night without a headlamp
Number of times the kids in the campground didn’t become instant lifelong buddies of our kids: once. This is officially a first! Ivan was told by these two boys that they didn’t want to play with him anymore. He came back to camp all confused and sad. After some prying, I believe it maybe had something to do with these other boys being bigger and older, racing on fancy geared mountain bikes and getting beat by Ivan. Just once or many times? I asked. “All the times.” 😬
Interesting animal sightings: bear, wolf, heron, deer, ravens, and two bucks with big racks fighting
Average hours of sleep per night: a blissfully glorious 11. Every. Single. Night.
Showers: one. With all the climbing, hiking and biking, we couldn’t really find time to ever fit this in
One day, maybe even one day soon, these boys won’t be loading their backpacks down with dozens of matchbox cars, hauling them out to the crag with all the pokey parts digging into their backs through their backpacks, creating detailed mazes of roads and parking lots and vrooming their motors with noticeable accuracy to the real deal, while Paul and I suss out the crux on a nearby boulder. You sure you guys don’t want to try this one? Nah, they say. Too absorbed in their little boy play. One day soon, they may actually decide that climbing is more fun than pushing matchbox cars around in dirt. And when that day comes I will be both sad and happy at the same time.
This is literally a caption out of the newest Yosemite bouldering guidebook, bold font, spread across a full page spread of a climber gripped on a beautiful granite Valley boulder with some snow, a sunset, and El Capitan in the background. I smirk every time I turn across this page. So true. So true.
Well, today I DID send. And it WAS glorious. Not that sending isn’t always glorious (it is), but this particular time was especially noteworthy of supreme gloriousness. With whoops and hollers from the entire family, I pulled off Sentinel Traverse, v6, a Valley classic. I NEVER send in the Valley. Never ever. In fact, the last time I did a Valley classic was in 2016 (so not even kidding). Today was a good day. Glorious, to be exact.
Oh our Silas and his highly involved and industrious ideas. Today, it’s making pancakes out of acorns. According to Silas, first you collect a bunch of acorns that have fallen to the ground, then you sort out the cracked and worm-holed ones so you’re left with only the good ones, then you roast them over the fire until they crack, then you peel the shells off so you’re left with the inner white part, then you grind the white part into flour, and then finally you mix up some pancake batter with the flour and cook up a pancake. I tell him I will look back on this and remember it always, but only one of two ways:
Remember that time you wanted to make pancakes out of acorns?
Wow! Those were really good pancakes!
He rolled his eyes at me and continued with his sorting.
A falling star, a full moon, interesting cloud formations under the full moon, the distant sound of rockfall, and wine. I argued with Paul about the wine. Humans were involved in that, just like this fire we’re enjoying! He wouldn’t have it. “Mother Nature provided the conditions in which to grow the grapes…” Fine.
I would have also added to this list sunshine, which kept us nice and warm while showering buck naked in the woods today. But I can’t because during my shower, the sun dipped behind a HUGE tree and stayed there. For eternity.