On the drive there, me, Marc and Annalie were in the back of the van playing cards when Marc suggested a forfeit game. You had to guess what suit and colour a card was and whoever loses their guess has to be the winner’s ‘slaves’ for the day. It was a tense moment, but luckily I won (after a Texas Hold’em streak no less) and they were, for the lack of a better term, my b*tches for the next 12 hours. Woop!
the volcanic islands
On the long drive to Yosemite, we stopped for lunch at the Volcanic Islands on Mono Lake. It had some amazing views and we also got to look around the visitor’s centre. With the forfeit in full force, I kindly asked Annalie to make me a wrap, whilst sending Marc to get me a glass of OJ (I could get so used to this!)
view from top of lembert dome, lake
After lunch, we got back in the van and after a few hours drive, arrived at Yosemite with the first port of call being a hike up Lembert Dome (no rest for the wicked, eh?) It was such a tough hike but we finally made it to some spectacular views overlooking the park. Steve gave us the option of hiking to the very top of the mountain (where you could literally slide down to your death at any moment). After much debating, me and Bobbi decided to face our fears and give it a go. It was so scary climbing up with hardly anything to hold onto – we had to follow Steve’s exact footsteps – but once we made it, it was such a breathtaking experience. Just as we were taking plenty of selfies and milking in the views, it started thundering (typical) and so we headed back down and went for a dip in the lake. The water was so murky however, that only Holly and the boys decided to go in.
yosemite views, the gang
Today is Holly’s birthday, so we all got her a card and a delicious chocolate cake. What’s more, as a special treat, Steve relieved us of our cooking duties and grilled some delicious steaks! During tea, someone (okay, that might have been me), decided to (playfully might I add) put some birthday cake on Marc’s face – only a teeny bit. This little act was met with a ‘caking’ in the face off Steve and a condiment fight soon ensued between Kirsty and Marc. The best bit? When Kirsty grabbed the last slice of chocolate cake and smacked it onto Steve’s bare chest (I can still hear the smush of the cake now). I never laughed so much! What a food fight! Once we cleared ourselves up, me, Marc and Matty introduced Holly to beer pong whilst the others chilled in front of the camp fire. It was girls vs boys, and me and Holly actually won two of the three games! I also took this time to take advantage of my previous card win, and got my ‘butlers’ to fetch drinks from the cool box to me and the others. Oh, the good life!
It was safe to say that night we all had such a good time and Holly had an amazing birthday. Bring on tomorrow!
Food fights, drinking games and an ‘okay night’s sleep’ later, Steve took us to our first of many Yosemite attractions today. Giant sequoias!
Walking through the woodland and seeing the world’s most massive trees was so cool. We climbed onto fallen down sequoias and even made our way through ‘tree tunnels’. It was like being a child again, and I loved it! It was also a great warm up for the tough hike Steve had in store for us today. Once we finished our ‘mini’ morning hike, we paid a quick visit to see the views of Half Dome – a challenging hike to many visitors.
Then it was time for the Mist Trail to see the spectacular Nevada waterfall. Polly and Kirsty decided to opt out of this hike and headed off to do their own thing, whilst the rest of us got our daypacks at the ready and made a quick pit stop to the toilets (turns out this trail has hardly any rest stops – oh how this would come to bite me in the arse!)
I’m not gonna lie, this was such a hard hike (I know I say this about every hike, but each one we do tests our limits). You were going uphill the whole time, climbing over massive steps and trying to work your way past people coming down. It was tough, but we finally made it to the second waterfall for a quick bite to eat.
mist trail steps, waterfall
Unfortunately at this point, the thunderstorms that had decided to follow us on our trek came and it was absolutely pouring it down. We made our way over a rocky bridge and took shelter in a hollowed out wall, when suddenly, yep, I needed to pee. At this point there were no more toilets, so Steve suggested that I head to a bush for a ‘drop and squat’. I know, I didn’t like the sound of it either, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Me and Steve headed back out into the rain, soaking wet, clambering over the rock bridge passing people who’d had stuck it out in the rain (they were so much hardcore than us) and then came the time to find my spot. Everytime I was literally about to go, a group of people emerged from the bushes. It was so nerve-wracking! I shouted to Steve, who was waiting patiently (and probably thinking I needed to go for something else as I took so long finding a place) that I was going to have a wander and find a secluded area, when, the heavens finally opened (and they literally did, it had stopped raining) and I came across some very well hidden toilets. Hallelujah! I never felt so grateful for a disgusting, smelly toilet in my life!
Toilet troubles aside, I reunited with the group and Steve informed us that the thunderstorm had made the rest of our hike near impossible. The rocks would be slippery and it would be just too dangerous to carry on. We headed back down the trail when Bobbi suggested that we could visit Glacier Point, a place she had been to before that was meant to have amazing views of the park. She was right, as soon as we got there, we couldn’t stop taking photos!
We soon reunited with Polly and Kirsty and headed back to camp for hotdogs and fries after a long day. We were all pretty exhausted and this called for only one thing – laundry! Tomorrow we’ll have a 3.5 hour drive to our next stop San Francisco!
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