Sunday, November 06, 2005
Back to Nature

(click for the full album)

I've been working way too much. My friend Eric realized this, and to save me from myself, booked a room in a motel outside of Yosemite.

I had been talking about taking a solo weekend off in the woods, telling my officemates (half jokingly) about my plans for a grand vision quest--how I would "find my soul" and bring meaning to my life. I'm fond of being overly dramatic.

Anyway, Eric and I drove out there Saturday morning. I just got back (now, Sunday night). I had no cell phone, no Internet access. We hiked probably about 15 miles of pretty mountainous terrain in that time.

I'm glad I did it. I'm a decently outdoorsy person (though never a big hiker), but I've been too tied to the computer lately. Just walk away. Go for a hike.

I've now gathered that there's probably not a better way to force yourself to face spirituality and search your soul than to climb to the top of Sentinel Dome and slowly spin in a circle.

My National Park Pass has (four months later) paid for itself. I really need to get into this. I'm not a big fan of Silicon Valley on the weekends. What I need to do is go drop some yuppie cash at REI and go camping every weekend.

I have a new goal of scaling Half Dome. Unfortunately, the hiker cables are down for the season, so that'll have to wait. I would like to do a big two-day loop up Yosemite Falls and then all the way along the North Dome trail and then back down by Snow Creek falls into the valley. Maybe that'll be my true solo vision quest. Maybe over Thanksgiving weekend.

It was absolutely depressing to leave Yosemite and pass strip mall after truck stop oasis all the way back to Palo Alto.
Sounds fun. I'm not super outdoorsy, but I've gone up Half Dome a couple times now. Both times I did the whole trip from the valley floor (that is, the last spot you can drive to in a car) to the top and back in one day. It's a long hike, but very invigorating. The view from the top is (as I'm sure you can imagine) truly amazing, so be sure to allow several hours to hang out up there if and when you go. I also recommend saving up some pee for the top so you can try peeing off multi-thousand foot cliffs. This is hard to do in practice but is a pretty radical concept.

Also keep a lookout for bears! On my second trip I ran into a young bear that was wandering around. One of my friends walked within about 10ft of it to take a picture. Luckily the mother did not seem to be around.
I've run into bears in the past. It's more likely that you run into a black bear than a grizzly.

I'd be most afraid of running into a baby bear. Black bears are unlikely to attack unless you get between mothers and cubs.
good nathan. hehe, first the Prius, now this! Pretty soon you'll be reading Gaia and God and "Walden Pond!" So...should I send a Starr King application out to you now, or after your next vision quest!?!

And, taking off the admissions coord. hat: sorry I've been a bit out of contact. I would be interested in a camping trip -- perhaps sometime over the November 24 weekend, perhaps a longer one over winter break. You bring the mechanical means for physical transportation, and I'll bring the chemical means to spiritual transportation/transformation!
I hope you mean booze.
are you coming on out to Los Rapidos for thanksgiving?

we could go out to critters or the wagon wheel and I'll buy you a beer.

or we could just goto hollyrocks instead.
Not going to be back for Thansgiving.

Note to all Rapidians: I do want to drink with you when I'm back over Christmas.
Let me know when the hiker cables are back, I'll bring the tent back out again, and we can actually plan it this time.

The picture in your journal looks like your standing in front of a diorama. Somethign about the lighting.
Oh, and that was Pete.
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More damn hippies everywhere...we have the asian hippies, the fat hippies, the old hippies...and then there is nate. Eye of the tiger, meets "go badgers" crossed with a pinch of sarcasm and a wit the size of new york.
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