In light of yesterdays “Photo of the Day” shot I thought I might share a different take on Half Dome; this time a view from the top.
There were several moments during that 2014 Eastern Sierra workshop where I had to smile and think to myself, “Yeah… I’ve been up there.” I first passed through the area while hiking the Sierra crest (Pacific Crest Trail) in 2007. Gazing at Half Dome from Olmsted Point was definitely one of those times as I reflected on past experiences and my memories drifted to the unforgettable climb pictured here.
I always cherish moments like these, when two significant life experiences are juxtaposed and you arrive at a crossroads in time. I can be a bit introspective and tend to cling tightly to memories so for me times like this are especially impactful. It can happen when looking at a natural wonder like Half Dome, or perhaps catching glimpse of a roadside state line pullout you’ve stood at before- and it transports you back to what you were doing, all the emotions and everything you thought you knew about life back then, and how that compares to who, what and where you are now.
Along similar lines, I’ve often encounterd a bit of a stigma when I get out into the mountains and tell people that I’m from Iowa. This happened a little bit during the workshop introductions, but has definitely been more pronounced at other times- such as meeting new hikers on a long distance trail or when I showed up for my first day working as a lifty in Montana. At those times people have looked at me with obvious incredulity, almost as if to say “you’re out of your element, kid…” The workshop group of course was much friendlier, and the comments I heard were more along the lines of “wait ’til you see these mountains… you’re going to be blown away!” Again, all I could do is smile and agree, thinking back to all the times I’ve been blown away before.
To read more about my experience of climbing Half Dome and see more photos from that day, check out this blog post
And to read the actual account from that day, have a look at my old trail journal