South-Bound Bonds Part 4: Yosemite/Home

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Welcome to Yosemite. One of the most unique national parks we have ever wandered through to date.  With high hopes for a same day permit to be issued us, we headed out to the first Ranger Station we could get to.  For those of you not familiar with Yosemite, there is quite the process in being able to hike/camp here as it’s a very sought after summer spot to see.  Most reservations are required at least 9 months to a year in advance- and believe you me, they are taken.  Well, we didn’t even have this trip on our radar that far out so snagging one of those reservations was impossible.  Thankfully, the National Parks Service also leaves a certain amount of campgrounds and backpackers permits available for same day access on a first come first serve basis.  This is what we were praying and hoping to get.  James had his 30-mile route all planned out, and I’ve never seen him more antsy then when we were waiting to see if we got the permit for the starting trailhead. Well, I’m glad to say we did which gave me a very happy and excited husband that day as we hopped on a bus up to our starting point in Tuolumne Meadows for our 30-mile trek back down to our car.  Our 4 day adventure in Yosemite was exhausting, exhilarating, refreshing, and filled with memories.  We averaged at least 8 miles a day with one longer day of about 11 miles.  We saw some of the most beautiful meadows and streams, summited up to over a 9,000 ft. elevation point at “Cloud’s Rest” with a 360 degree view of the park, watched many a gorgeous sunset fall, slept under twinkling stars, and relished just being with each other.  Backpacking is where we both feel most at home.  Just us in nature. The strings of silence and the unhindered conversation, the fresh water, the mountain air, the views- all what keep us coming back for more.  If only we had more time…SouthBoundBonds-234

Cathedral Peaks was one of the first big landmarks we saw heading down
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Here’s the other side of the peak with the beautiful mountain lake to it’s leftSouthBoundBonds-240SouthBoundBonds-232

Yes.SouthBoundBonds-237

One day down.  Time for breakfast and then off we go!SouthBoundBonds-243

Making sure we are still on course.  SouthBoundBonds-244

Mountain lakes are some of the most breathtaking sites.  SouthBoundBonds-246

Yup.  Totally got to witness an engagement going down and grabbed some pictures.  How’s that for perfect timing!
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Yup. He’s Mine.SouthBoundBonds-266

And I love him.SouthBoundBonds-268

Up at Cloud’s Rest to watch the sun slowly sink down 🙂
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Stud.SouthBoundBonds-272SouthBoundBonds-273SouthBoundBonds-278SouthBoundBonds-280SouthBoundBonds-284SouthBoundBonds-282

Best Friends Forever.  SouthBoundBonds-286SouthBoundBonds-288SouthBoundBonds-293SouthBoundBonds-292

Our sweet tent lit up with my even sweeter lantern!
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Unfortunately, though we had obtained a permit to climb the famous Half Dome that day, the weather just didn’t quite hold out for us. Super slick stone is the last thing you want to be climbing…SouthBoundBonds-296SouthBoundBonds-297

We were bummed 🙁 and wet… lolSouthBoundBonds-298

Half Dome up close :: Half Dome in the distanceSouthBoundBonds-299

Not being able to hike up Half Dome though allowed us time to set up camp early for once and just enjoy the evening together.  SouthBoundBonds-300

Next morning we were up an at it again to finish out our trek.  Had to stop by the creek and filter some water though!
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Nevada FallsSouthBoundBonds-308SouthBoundBonds-309SouthBoundBonds-310SouthBoundBonds-312

 Finished! Now to find a burger haha.SouthBoundBonds-316

After Yosemite, we did indeed find a burger and hit up an “In-n-Out” on our way up to spend the night at Lake Tahoe.  Though we got in too late to see the lake that night we woke up to a beautiful sunny morning 🙂 SouthBoundBonds-317SouthBoundBonds-321SouthBoundBonds-318SouthBoundBonds-319

After coming out of Yosemite, we made a spur of the moment decision to end our trip relaxing at a bed and breakfast (our second favorite thing to do next to backpacking).  So we hit up bedandbreakfast.com and I found what looked to be like a cute spot in Eugene, OR.  That spot would give us enough time to hit up Crater Lake on the way there and still make it in time for a nice dinner out and restful night.  Crater Lake was gorgeous!
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The bed and breakfast we stayed in was called Cest La Vie and was absolutely darling! We have really loved every bed and breakfast we’ve stayed in, but this one definitely had a unique charm to it with it’s French decor.  We had an absolutely delectable meal that evening at a local Italian restaurant (my favorite kind!) and the whole evening was a wonderful way to end our trip. SouthBoundBonds-337SouthBoundBonds-339SouthBoundBonds-341SouthBoundBonds-342SouthBoundBonds-344SouthBoundBonds-345SouthBoundBonds-348SouthBoundBonds-349SouthBoundBonds-350SouthBoundBonds-346

Coming back home produced mixed feelings.  Growing up, coming home was not only the people, but the place.  After any camp, tournament, trip, or event, I would always go back to our 2-story farmhouse with the acres of corn and apple trees growing in the back, the swings blowing in the breeze, and the basketball court beckoning us to play. My mom would probably be cooking, my dad doing laundry.  My bedroom was the same, my siblings close by.  But what I’ve lacked since getting married is that feeling of “home in a place”.  I didn’t feel like I was “coming home.” But that’s because DuPont isn’t home.  Fort Benning wasn’t home.  Even our 2-story farmhouse isn’t home anymore.  And as cliche as it might sound, I realized that is James is my home now.  When we are together that’s home.  When he was with me at Fort Benning I was home.  When he’s with me here in DuPont, I am home.  And when we travel back to Pennsylvania together we are home. It’s true- “Home is where your heart is.” And mine is with my best friend.  And it’s for that reason that I didn’t feel like I was “coming home,” because I realized right then, that I had never really left.

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