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Adventure: Yosemite

Who would have thought, a random phone call and I was in Nima’s Volvo carrying my laptop speeding towards Yosemite National Park. I slouched on the leather seat reminiscing the last time I was there – eighth grade science camp. The cabins at Curry Village, the snowy trails we hiked, the giant sequoias we painted, and the activities we did slowly resurfaced over those long buried memories. That organized trip had a strict daily agenda on where we have to be and what we have to do at any given time.

This time, we defied all rules. After a nice nap, interrupted by a quick stop on highway 120 to pick almonds along the road, we arrived at our campsite. We immediately pulled out the 500 square feet tent, only to realize we had forgotten to pack the poles that support the tent. Out of creativity, we decided to sleep on the cabin deck with the rest of Nima’s family in the cabin. It was a different experience sleeping under the stars. I stared into space, listening subconsciously to cricket cackles and coyote howls. I could no longer organize the stars into constellations as quickly as I thought I could, and I blame nights and nights of playing DotA last year. It was chilly, but my sleeping bag proved itself worthy. I closed my eyes and dreamed away.

Starry Skies

Bright sunlight pierced my dream bubble at 9 am the second day. Unbelievable yet true, I woke up at 9 am voluntarily. The seasoned chef Porks prepared hash browns and scrabled eggs for breakfast. We spent the day catching whatever we could find, including crayfish, minnows, trouts, snakes, dragonflies, bees, worms, squirrels, and birds. The trap we set up caught a squirrel, but it broke the trap and fled. The rest were total failures. That didn’t stop us, because after another night’s rest, we embarked to a place where no man has been before.

We hiked off trail, crossed a river, and continued hiking along what seemed like a poor human trail with depressed grass and chipped branches. The area was ancient and rugged. Fallen, burnt trees on top of knee-length grass blades, surrounded by fresh bamboo shoots and hazing clouds of mosquitoes, spiders, and new breeds of insects. After reaching a pennisula, with yet another river in front of us, we turned back. The total distance was about 3 miles, but total displacement was less than a mile. Hopping over lethal spikes and wading through raging rivers on our way back, we caught a glipse of a bear on the other side of the river. We waited silently for the bear to show itself again. Few moments later, the orange bear reappears with her cub. From their upright positions and their pawing trees, I believe they were looking for honey. Then, a fact dawned upon me: the tracks we followed were bear tracks, and the dungs along the tracks were bear dungs.

Orange Bear

After another 50 miles of getting lost on the freeway, I arrived back at the cabin in one whole but damaged piece at 1 am.

Casualty check:
Wet clothes and pants x2
Full body submerges x3
Sand in shoes x5 hours
Scratches by branches x7
Scratches by underwater rocks x5
Bug bites on the left foot x10
Bug bites on the right foot x3
Bug bites on the left arm x10
Bug bites on the right arm x5
Super dark and unwashable fingers x8

Pillage check:
Crayfish x4
Bear sightings x4
Degrees of fun x

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