I’ve always wanted to go on a road trip. I remember talking with my friends during our high school days about going on one and how awesome it’ll be. The places we’d get to visit and the things we’d get to do, it would be a trip to remember. Never would I thought I would be going on a road trip with my cousin and her two friends.
Early in 2012, Jullet asked me if I wanted to tag along with her on a cross country road trip. She was living in California and was moving to New Hampshire. It was going to be perfect plan; a one way road trip! The kicker: She said that we’ll be ‘roughing it out’. I didn’t understand it at first until I experienced it first hand. She was a med school student on a budget (cue in dramatic music).
No hotels and at times, no showers. I wasn’t sure if I was prepared for this. But it didn’t matter. It was too good of an opportunity to give up. I was already in Seattle at the time so I flew down to San Francisco to meet up with her.
Our first stop on our trip? Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite is beautiful. We arrived to our campsite late afternoon. After a long drive, all we wanted to do was rest up for our hike the next day. I’ve never been camping before (true New Yorker) so I didn’t know how to pitch a tent. Needless to say, the whole ordeal was embarrassing. But there was no turning back. I mean, I was there, in Yosemite. In the middle of no where!
(I won’t say I’m a pro at setting up tents now but I’m definitely better than before).
I’ve also never been hiking before (god, I’m so deprived) so I had no clue what to expect on our hike up to Cloud’s Rest. I had my bag packed and ready to go! Water? Check. Lunch? Check. Snacks and camera? Check and check! I was amped up and couldn’t wait to start the hike.
We weren’t even an hour into the hike until I saw the sign pointing us the Cloud’s Rest. 15.9 miles..? Wait, what?! Are you serious? This is what I’m tackling for my first hike ever? Haha.. Nothing to it but to do it!
The hike was long and difficult. Shit, I was even complaining to Jullet haha. ‘Why are we doing this?’ ‘Are we there yet?’ The list goes on. I’m sure she wanted to strangle me. But she couldn’t, she needed me.
We weren’t even at the top yet and she ran out of water! I still had half of my supply left but split between two people on a hike? That’s just a drop in a bucket. No need to panic though, we just had to tough it out and we did just that. On the way up, we ran into two fellow hikers and they were super friendly. We ended up having lunch together at the top and finishing the hike with them.
I forgot their names now but they were super friendly and nice enough to share their water with Jullet. Once we were finally down by our cars, she exchanged contact information with them and we parted ways. We were exhausted and dehydrated. Our bodies ached and famished. But the journey to the top was amazing. The great thing about it? This was only just the beginning.
Yosemite is massive. There were still lots to see and even more to do but we had a schedule to keep. Visiting a national park never crossed my mind. It just never struck me as something I’d want to do but after starting our trip with Yosemite, I wanted to see and explore more.
This last picture is one of my favorites. We were at the top of Cloud’s Rest and the views are absolutely breathtaking. I couldn’t believe that I was there. That just last week, I was in Seattle and not too long ago, I was just at home.
I’m standing on the crest of the mountain and I wanted to take a picture. To remind myself that I did it.
That I was there.
Our next stop: Zion National Park!