When I was in college, Upper Yosemite Falls was my spot.
It may not have been a secret or solitary place, but the beauty of Yosemite Valley unfolding before my eyes and the surreal feeling of sitting on the edge of the tallest waterfall in North America was exactly what I needed to re-center.
This year I returned to the park with plans to climb and built an itinerary that did not include the trail to the falls. Yes, it was a classic, but I had granite to rub my fingers raw on!
But the day I left, I couldn’t resist the lure of Yosemite Falls crashing down 2,425 feet. I longed for that feeling of tranquility, that connection to my past.
I convinced my friend to hike the 7.2 miles in 2,700 feet and we navigated switchbacks through woodlands and then up an open rocky path.
We sat on Columbia Rock and basked in the sun. We snapped pictures of the valley below and the falls mere feet away. I let the spray of the chilly water soak my smiling face. It felt like coming home.
Within a few hours, we were on top and peering over the edge. We exclaimed over the rainbow. Over the close-up of Half Dome. Over the exhilaration of being so high up. Over the pure joy on the faces of tourists around us.
Then I perched on the edge, just like I did when I was in college, and closed my eyes. No place leaves a more lasting impression.
Stacia Glenn | @Staciangeliques