Where the Clouds Rest - My Family Travels

Yosemite National Park

Thousands of tourists visit the national park of Yosemite every year and not many experience the invigorating challenge that may await them. I for one was lucky enough, with my classmates and Mamagazi, our teacher. She helped lead the way to our destination however none of us would realize the journey we would be going on.

We packed nearly forty pound of gear into our backpacks, grabbed our walking sticks, and hit the path starting out at Yosemite’s Curry Village. Our group of nine was excited and ready and hiked for about 5 miles when we reached Nevada Falls, a roaring waterfall at its peak, which was in late May. Having a chance to rest and catch up on our journals we wrote in and ate some trail mix that you would only eat if you were starving or hiking, except for the chocolate covered pretzels, yum! About 1½ miles later we reach our campsite and set up before dark. Everyone on the trip was so thrilled to make it and we celebrated with tortellini for dinner.

Day 2 was a pretty moderate hike and not so intense, but then next day would show us what our limits were. As we were hiking, one would notice the combination of all these elements around you. For example, the snow high in the mountains and the winds blowing at such a high altitude, giant boulders and cliffs, and the river that day by day swelled up just a bit more, and luckily no fires, yay! You put your feet in the chilling water trying to compete with friends on who could keep them in longer without getting hyperthermia. We ate our pitas and headed back along the river for another 4 miles. That night was filled with interesting stories and people because we started a campfire and people from other sites came to visit and socialize and it was very heart warming. That night we went to sleep under the stars, all nine of us and you would think lots of bugs, but no, we were all mosquito free and the sky was amazing. We weren’t allowed technology, not even watches so I’m guessing around 2 AM we called it a night.

Day 3 we prepared our course on the map and studied on contour lines and how to read a map. Finally we were all set and decided to take on the highest point in Yosemite called Clouds Rest and it’s named that for a reason. It is higher than Half Dome, about 2 miles in elevation, and when we finally reached the top we had a 360-degree view of the whole park and beyond. The best part is no one stinks up there because the wind was so strong and since we hadn’t showered in three days that was good because some of us were a little expired. To my surprise there was wildlife up there like these little birds called swifts that looked like little jets.

Finally we headed back to camp and prepared our little shins for the downhill trip. We let the walking sticks take over and enjoyed the hike of the Mist Trail, which can make you soaking wet from the waterfall so you’ll need a poncho because it feels like it’s raining. Even though we got sprayed by the refreshing waterfall, we still were in desperate need of a shower. When you’re done you appreciate everything and your buns get tight after 32 miles. We did it!

Curry Village website


Yosemite Directions


Expedition website


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