Wednesday, July 29th:Rest Day in Reno

After reorganizing the gear we had tiredly thrown in the car the night before, we made our way towards Hirobi Sushi in Reno.  We made a quick stop at a small coffee shop along the way, and arrived at Hirobi around 11:00.  Hirboi was AMAZING!  For $18 each, we had all-you-can-eat made-to-order sushi, along with appetizers, warm sake, and a desert.  Carlos, our sushi chef was awesome.  He became as excited to make us sushi as we were to eat it.  Before leaving he even told us that if we were ever in Reno again we could stay with him and his wife.  Oddly, this is not the first time we have had people give us offers like that!  

Bellies full of deliciousness, we headed to Sierra Trading Post to browse for deals on outdoors gear/clothing before we parked ourselves at some tables outside to utilize the free Wi-Fi. We booked a hotel room at one of the casinos for the night, excited to shower, relax in the hot tub, and sleep in a real bed.

Tuesday, July 28th: Cathedral Peak

When our alarms went off, we silenced them and went back to sleep.  It was cold, we were tired and sore, and we only had 6 pitches of climbing and a few downhill miles to walk when we were done.  We enjoyed a lazy morning, eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and packing up camp.  

Eventually, we made our way towards Cathedral Peak, stopping along the way to filter water for the rest of the day.  We stashed our packs in the trees below the climb before scrambling up to the start.  There were several parties already on the wall, so it took a few minutes to decide where we wanted to begin.  Cathedral Peak has many variations of routes on it, which provide many opportunities for faster parties to pass slower parties before arriving at the bottleneck right before the summit. 

As Dave led the way, we made good time and passed several parties along the way.  After two full-rope length pitches we found ourselves at the chimney.  The chimney, which often has a line of parties waiting for it, was about to be ours to climb.  After two more short pitches, we found ourselves on a large, comfortable ledge.  The ledge was large enough for all of us to lay on!  We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as we waited for the climbers ahead of us to climb the next pitch.  About a half hour after reaching the ledge, Dave was able to start up the next pitch.  Alex had only fed out about 50ft of rope when Dave came to a stop.  It sounded like he had hit a traffic jam.  As another party showed up on the ledge next to ours, they said we were VERY close to the summit.  As the time passed, the sunny ledge turned to a shaded one, and Alex and Doug needed to put on extra layers of clothing… this meant a puffy for Alex and a shirt for Doug.  Alex sat on the ledge, with Dave on belay, for an hour and a half before it was finally time for her to climb.  He must not have been far from the summit because very little rope was fed out before he called “Off belay!”  By this time, six other people were queued up behind us. 

As Alex made her way up the pitch, she popped up over a block to see Dave sitting on the airy summit across a several foot gap from her.  The summit was small, capable of holding no more than four people at a time.  Back in the sun, the temperatures quickly changed, and Alex was roasting in her puffy and couldn’t wait to take it off again.  Dave explained that we had to wait for so long because the party ahead, two guys and a 12-year-old boy, found themselves on the summit with the bolt used to rappel missing.  Apparently, this bolt gets chopped periodically, but the downclimb off the summit isn’t too bad.  The party, however, seemed uncomfortable with the situation and spent a good deal of time discussing what they were going to do.  Dave let them alone, but intervened to help when they were going to lower the boy off a single nut.  Dave offered his help, moved to the summit, added another nut, and backed it up with more gear to assist the party.  After Doug arrived at the summit, we took a quick picture before Dave rappelled down, followed by Alex.  Doug cleaned the cams, before rappelling down himself. 

 We didn’t get the summit pics we were hoping for due to the line waiting behind us!

Below the summit, we began negotiating our way along the descent ledges on the back of the peak.  Apparently, sitting on the ledge for 2 hours made Doug rammy.  He tried to convince us that we should still climb the Eichorn Pinnacle, a formation on the peak we originally were going to climb, but Alex and Dave had written off since it was now 4:30.  We thought he was being ridiculous, it was late, we were tired, hungry, and still had to hike out.  There was still hope that we could drive out of the park in time to get the fish tacos at The Mobil we had been talking about with other parties on the climb!  After a few minutes of debate, he conceded, and we made our way off the traversing ledges to the scramble up and around the peak to the front side.

Eichorn Pinnacle

Back at our packs, we had a snack, relaxed for a few minutes, and loaded the climbing gear into our bags.  Doug lead us towards the trailhead, navigating through the woods and along the creek until it met up with the trail.  We moved quickly despite our heavy packs and tired bodies.  Within an hour we found ourselves back at the trailhead.  Joyously, we dropped our packs, exchanged approach shoes for flipflops, and removed our dirty, sweaty clothes.   As we reorganized, the guys with the young boy appeared, somehow they wound up behind us.  They thanked Dave again for his help before heading out.  Once our car was packed up, we headed toward The Mobil.

At The Mobil, we each had an order of fish tacos, and shared an Asian salmon salad, and an order of fries.  Ice cream also followed to round out our meal.  The party with the boy was also at The Mobil, and we wound up talking with them until about 9:00PM.  Back in the car, we drove towards Reno, stopping at a national forest dispersed camping area to sleep for the night.  

Monday, July 27th: Matthes Crest Traverse

We woke at 5:30AM, and left the warmth of our sleeping bags to get ready for our climb.  We donned hats and gloves as we ate our oatmeal, drank our coffee, and made final preparations to our packs.  By 7:00AM we were ready to leave camp.  Doug left a few minutes ahead of us to stash a bear bin with our dinner ingredients, stove, and fishing gear in the meadow between our climb and our camp.  Despite Alex and Dave’s discontentment with the idea of heading down to the lake after climbing, Doug still stashed all the gear.  We knew it was going to be a long day on the rock and would likely just want to get back to camp, eat, and sleep. 

Down the slabs and scree from camp and then over the meadow, and through the woods to talus fields we went.  We found ourselves at the start of the south end of the ridge, but we were Doug-less.  We decided to rope up and figured he would soon appear.  Almost on cue, we spotted him working his way up the talus field to us.  Alex put Dave on belay, and he started up the first of three vertical pitches to gain the ridge around 8:00AM.  After gaining the 500 foot tall ridge via the enjoyable starting pitches, we began simulclimbing our way along the ridge, at times setting anchors to transfer gear from 3rd to leader, and at times putting each other on belay. 

The climbing was awesome and provided amazing views, while being often exposed, exciting, and mentally exhausting.  It was very different from our typical climbing; often finding ourselves having to down climb the rollercoaster ridge or navigate along the knife-edge ridge.



Around 2:00PM, we found ourselves in the vicinity of the North and South Summits.  At the time, we were not sure if we had passed the South Summit, but spied some rappel stations below.  The common descent point is the North Summit, but since we saw an out, we decided to take it it rather than continuing on to the rock ahead that looked sketchy.   We were all tired and hungry, so we opted to downclimb to the first rap station below.  Dave down-lead to the tree/bush rappel, followed by Alex, and Doug took up the tail cleaning the gear as he went.   Two double rope rappels landed us all on the scree field at the base of the wall.  We carefully navigated our way down the loose scree and into the meadow where Doug had stashed dinner. 

The idea of walking down to the lake to fish, and then having to walk alllll they way back up to camp did not appeal to our tired and hungry bodies, so we convinced Doug to start making dinner right there.  It may have taken forever to make, but two hours later Doug provided us with a delicious, filling dinner or cream-chipped-bacon with potatoes, onions and garlic.  Alex and Dave may have snuck a few pieces of bacon while the meal was in process, but what hungry person can resists a pile of freshly cooked crunchy bacon?

As soon as dinner was ready, Doug retreated to sleep on a boulder without even eating.  Apparently his stomach was angry with him for something he consumed.  Meanwhile, Alex and Dave feasted on an adjacent boulder, feeling bad for Doug.  He really must not be feeling well, who could resist this meal? 

After cleaning up the dinner dishes, and packing up all the gear, Alex and Dave woke Doug around 7:30PM, letting him know it was time to walk back to camp.  He just wanted to lie there for a bit longer, so Alex and Dave gathered his gear and made their way back to camp with it.  Though the walk was not far, after our long day, the uphill seemed brutal.  As we cleaned up gear and prepared for sleep, a tired, pale looking Doug appeared.  Fortunate for him, he was now ready to enjoy his dinner and was soon looking and feeling much better.   Exhausted from our day, we all were in bed before sunset.

Sunday, July 26th: Prepping and Hiking to the Cathedral Range

Sunday was prepped to be a busy day.  We wanted to get some climbing done in the morning, we needed to organize and pack our gear, and we needed to hike to Echo Lakes to set up camp (about 4 miles).  Our desire to climb West Cracks must have rubbed off, because this was now Doug’s choice for the day, though we thought it was a bit much with everything else we needed to accomplish.  After waking and packing up our campsite, it was still cold (30’s) at 7:00AM.  Crack climbs are no fun with freezing hands, so we decided to drive to the Tuolumne Store picnic tables, make pancakes, and have coffee.  There was a lot of smoke in the air, even filling up some valley areas.  We later learned this was not a local fire, but smoke blowing in from a fire in Nevada.

After eating, we decided to just head over to Pothole Dome, do a few topropes, and then pack up.  Since Alex and Dave had climbed there before, we setup at the 2ndarea, so we would have something different to climb on.  After Alex ran a few lines, Dave jumped on next and decided to climb like a lizard, running, jumping, bounding, and scurrying both vertically and horizontally along the slabs.  After Doug had his turn at it and cleaned up the anchors, we headed back to the car.  We stopped at the store again for some cream cheese for our lunch.

We drove up the road to an large pull-off, laid down a tarp, and starting organizing gear for a backpacking/fishing/climbing trip.  The plan was to hike from the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead to the climbers trail that would take us past Budd Lake and set up camp near Echo Lake.  We would fish along the way, either at Budd Lake or Echo Lake. 

We moved to the trailhead, stashed our extra food bins in the food lockers, and hit the trail around 2:00 PM.  Despite the fairly short length and moderate terrain, we were moving slow and stopping often.  Dave and Doug had ridiculous packs on their backs that slowed them to a pace that was quite relaxed for Alex with her reasonable pack.  Alex took pleasure and enjoyed this rare hiking moment.  Soon after the trail turned to flat granite slabs, we met a park ranger and a volunteer and talked to them for a bit.  They had been out at Budd Lake eradicating an invasive species in the lake… trout.   I guess we won’t be fishing there!  They also suggested a sushi restaurant in Reno that has great all-you-can-eat sushi.  This sounded like a great rest day activity for Wednesday!  We could drive three hours for that… and maybe even get a hotel… showers and laundry would be fantastic!

We continued on our way; soon find ourselves at Budd Lake.  We dropped our packs to take a short break, and consult the map.  At this point the trail we had been following along a creek faded away and we just needed to head in the direction of the not yet visible Matthes Crest and Echo Lake.  From where we sat, we could see Cathedral Peak and hear the climbers on it shouting commands to each other.   Doug led us along the edge of the Echo Peaks, and soon we were in a meadow.  Matthes Crest should be coming into view any time now!


As both Matthes Crest and Echo Lake came into view, we decided we would camp up on the ridge, rather than make the walk all the way down to the lake.  Dave and Doug were particularly beaten up by the hike, and this would be a good location for us.  By not walking down to the lake to set up camp, we would not have to walk back up the loose scree with heavy packs in two days.  There was brief discussion about fishing… but the lake seemed farther than our tired legs wanted to go.   We picked a sheltered area amongst some trees to protect us from the wind and allow Doug to set up his hammock.  As Alex and Dave went to retrieve water, Doug began to prepare dinner. 

It sounded like an odd combination: pasta, cantaloupe, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and white wine, but we trusted Doug he makes awesome camp food… he’s only let us down once! This past winter, while we were snowshoeing to Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks, Doug prepared us a dinner of pasta and salmon at our lean-to.  Unfortunately, he was unable to find packets of salmon, so instead brought a sketchy looking can of it.  Worst. Dinner. Ever. It was so terrible we could not eat it; it tasted bad and was full of bones.  Luckily for us we had enough other things along to eat instead. 

Doug succeeded in making a delicious dinner, and after our bellies were as full as they were going to get… not full enough… we prepared our packs with food and gear for climbing the Matthes Crest the following morning.  Before heading to bed for the night, we spent some time taking pictures of the fantastic sunset views we had from our camp.

Alex and Dave settled into their tent, while Doug settled in under his tarp.  We all figured he would stay warmer in the 30-something-degree night chill on the ground with the tarp than hanging in a hammock.

Saturday, July 25: Prepping for Matthes Crest and Cathedral Peak

Our alarm went off at 6:00AM to rouse us from sleep.  We were happy to awaken to daylight; it made it so much easier to get out of bed.  We needed to head to the Wilderness Center to get in line to pull first-come-first-serve permits to backpack out to the Matthes Crest and Cathedral Lakes area to climb.  Our goal was to climb one of the peaks on Monday, and the other on Tuesday before hiking back out.  When we arrived at the building, there were about a dozen people already in line.  When the ranger came out at 8:00AM, he organized us into groups based on when we were looking to leave, and whether or not we had reservations already.  When we said we were going out to climb Matthes and Cathedral we were psyched to see that put us right behind the people who had reservations.  Apparently, climbers are not counted the same way as regular backpackers since we use cross-country trails off the main trails.

Cathedral Peak

Matthes Crest

After getting our permit and renting bear canisters to store our food while we are out, we headed to Lee Vining to buy food supplies for the trip.  We are currently sitting at the Mobil, getting updated and informed with internet access.  The rest of the day will involve meal planning and shopping, prepping our packs, and hopefully a bit of easy access climbing. A second meal of BBQ and fried food is already planned… we already had breakfast burritos and pancakes at the Mobil!

Friday, July 24th: Tenaya Peak

The alarm went off at 5:00AM to rouse us from our sleep.  We quickly dressed, brushed teeth, and grabbed the day’s food from the bear box before hopping in the car.  We drove towards the parking area on the northeast shore of Tenaya Lake, eating our breakfast of peanut butter and jelly on cinnamon raisin bagels.  Around 6:00AM we were navigating along the climber trails towards the granite slabs at the base of Tenaya Peak.  We scrambled up for a few hundred feet until the slop became worthy of roping up for some simul-climbing.  We simuled for a few hundred feet of climbing before setting up belays.  The weather was fantastic and our spirits were high.  We were the first climbers on the route and we did not see another party until a group of two appeared behind us and we started to belay.  A few pitches later, around 9:30AM, we stopped on a large ledge for “lunch,” a second round of peanut butter and jelly on cinnamon raisin bagels.  We let the group of two pass before moved on.  

As Doug belayed Dave up the next pitch, Alex looked at the guidebook and realized we had made excellent progress.  It looked as if we were already at the top of pitch 12.  That left 2 more pitches before a scramble to the true summit.  Doug apparently forgot to tell Dave when he reached half rope, so when Dave yelled down asking about it, Doug said “You have 4 feet to me!”  Dave mistook this for “You have 4 feet to the middle” and was surprised that he still had so much rope left.  Dave was not at a place he could set a belay, so Doug scrambled up a few feet to give Dave more rope to work with, while Alex had him on belay.  Dave set a belay and now Doug was double belayed.  When all three of us rejoined at the belay Dave set, we let a free-soloist pass through the loose blocky area ahead before we moved on.   Above the blocky section, we found a fantastic 5.7 hand crack to finish the climbing of the route.  Our only wish was that the crack had been longer!  We scrambled to the summit to take in the amazing 360 degree views, have a snack and take some pictures.   We were on the summit by noon, had never taken off our approach shoes, and had a fantastic day of climbing!

We navigated our way down to sloping slabs on the northeast side of the peak and around to the back side of it.  We would need to hike down and around the backside of the peak, which would take us to the opposite side of Tenaya Lake from where we parked.  On our way down we spotted two large birds (wild chickens, alpine hens, mountain chickens…) and of course Doug took pursuit of “dinner.”  Birdless we made our way over the granite slabs, through the woods, and across fallen trees (aka log rides) until the sounds of people on the shores of Tenaya Lake could finally be heard.  We followed the official trail, putting running girls in bikinis within eyeshot of cheerful Dave and Doug, until we found ourselves back at the road near Sunrise trailhead.  A perfectly timed park shuttle showed up and saved us from the long walk up the road to our parking area.  We cheerfully thanked the driver for his impeccable timing as he drove us towards our parking area. 

We stopped at the camp store for a few dinner supplies, and mauled a bag of Doritos in the parking lot.  Back at camp, we cooked up tortillas topped with cheese, hot sauce, rice, onions cooked with black beans, and avocado.  The rest of the day was spent lounging and napping before we scavenged some additional firewood from the woods behind our site.   We had an evening snack of corn cooked over the campfire… it was delicious!  Sleepily we headed off to bed, cheerful that we would not have to awaken before the sun in the morning!

Thursday, July 23: Doug and Zee Tree

We woke at 5:00AM to head to the Valley to retrieve Doug.  We were greeted in typical Doug style: a jubilant, jumping, tackling, swinging us in the air, screaming reunion.  Doug smelled of a concert, and had the giddiness of being in the Valley for the first time combined by not enough sleep after a day of traveling and a concert look to him.  We headed to Degnan’s Deli to grab some coffee, which we withheld from Doug, for our own good.  We stopped by the El Cap Meadow, before begrudgingly pulling Doug out of the Valley to head to Tuolumne Meadows.  We knew he would be grumbly, but we knew the heat in the Valley was terrible, and that Tuolumne was AWESOME, and he would love it once he got there.

We headed right to Zee Tree to climb.  Now that the weather was finally cooperating, we could finally get on it.  We enjoyed the slabby, well bolted climb that led to a final pitch corner crack to the summit.  A short rappel and a walkoff down huge sloping slabs of granite brought us down the back of the dome and to a trail to the car.

Our paparazzi 

Back at camp we found 4 tents in our campsite.  Our pay stub was clearly hung on the site number post, and it was also clear they had taken it out of our rain protecting plastic bag to look at it.  Fortunate for us, a ranger was in the campground impounding a dog that someone had left in their tent while they were away from the campground… a big no-no especially in mountain lion and bear terrain.  The ranger came over, and impounded all of the gear; inventorying and packing into the park service vehicle with the other coolers that had to be impounded for being left unattended.  This may sound harsh, but it is because of people not storing there food properly that the bears have become problems in camping areas.   Each campsite has its own large metal bear proof bin to store all food and scented items in.  We thanked the ranger for her help and took a picture with her before we enjoyed to delicious vegetable sauce and pasta prepared by Doug.

We spent the remainder of the evening, organizing camp, the car, and our gear for climbing the Northwest Buttress of Tenaya Peak in the morning.   The people who set up camp in our site showed up, wondering where their stuff was.  We told them the ranger had impounded it since they set up in our camp, and did not pay for a site.  They apparently “didn’t know” they had to pay for a site and post the tag proving payment.  They were friendly enough, despite having to now go pay to get their gear back and find a place to stay for the night.

We played a rousing round of Killer Bunnies and snacked before heading to bed for the night.  Doug forgot to pack his tent, and warm sleeping bag, so he hung his hammock, dressed in baselayers, and used one of our sleeping bags to stay warm in the 35 degree night chill. 

Wednesday, July 22: Guide Wall

The overnight rain made us feel that the cracks of West Cracks would be too wet to climb, so we decided to go for the right off the road, slabby, 6-pitch Zee Tree on Pywiack Dome.  We pulled of the road in front of the Dome and could see water running from some of the vegetated divots and flakes on the dome.  “Let’s go get coffee… then check it out again.”  We returned 30 minutes later to find it still wet, as we expected would be the case.  Since the climb would be in the shade for several more hours, we decided to find something else.   We chose the Guide Cracks area on the South Flanks of Daff Dome.  The short approach, sunny wall, and low commitment single pitch climbs were perfect since it was now a bit later in the morning, and rain was still in the forecast for the afternoon. 

After parking in the wrong area, and having to do some navigating and bushwacking, we found ourselves at the base of the proper cliff.  As Dave prepared to lead the Guide Crack furthest to the left (5.5), a group of 5 showed up.  We knew this was a popular area, so we were glad we were able to arrive first.  Dave cleaned the climb on his way down, and as Alex led the pitch more and more people began to arrive.  When Alex was back on the ground, he quickly started up the 5.7 which shared the same anchor.  After Alex followed the climb, we decided to head out since it was now very crowded with people waiting for climbs to open.  As we packed up, Alex pulled out 2 apples for us to snack on during our decent.  The baby belonging to an Austrian couple we were chatting with immediately recognized the apples, started pointing and grasping at them.   His mom gave him an apple of his own, and he sat in the dirt happily smiling, giggling, and chewing on his apple.  All was well until he held up his apple showing it to Alex, and she held up our two.  Apparently this made him very unhappy to see that she had TWO and he had ONE.  He made a very unhappy face at her before beginning to wail and cry, now displeased with his apple.  Of course, this brought teasing of Alex by Dave and referring to her as the “mean lady.”

We returned to camp to make cheese quesadillas for dinner, hang a line to “freshen” our clothes, and relax in camp chairs for the evening.  Tomorrow morning, we would wake up early to head down into the Valley to pick up Doug.  Doug flew into Fresno that day, but was going to see the Ataris’ concert that night and would we taking a YARTS (Yosemite Area Transportation Authority) bus into the park. 

Tuesday, July 21: Elizabeth Lake Hike

We woke up to cloudy skies and a forecast of rain possible all day, so we planned to keep it a low key day.  We enjoyed a pancake breakfast on the camp stove before grabbing some coffee and heading up to Elizabeth Lake from the trailhead inside Tuolumne Meadows Campground.  We took a leisurely hike up the 2.3 mile trail, passing many people as we went.  At one point, after passing yet another group of hikers, Dave looked at Alex with a smirk and said “Huh… and I think you are slow…”  This is an ongoing back and forth between us since our slow still is faster than the average. 

Upon reaching the lake, we sat for a while watching fish jump from the lake and took in the views of Unicorn Peak.  While walking down, we stopped and talked with a trail crew leader about backpacking and climbing in the area.  She mentioned that all the rain we have been getting is from a tropical storm/hurricane hitting the coast.  Now that makes sense!  Without internet, all we knew was the forecast from the daily weather postings at park buildings and the screenshots we took on our phones before we headed back into the park. 

Once back at the car, we decided since it was still early, but climbing was out of the picture because of the weather, we would head back to Lee Vining for some food.  Somehow we forgot to do that yesterday!  After picking up some food for the next few days, we headed to the Mobil for bacon cheeseburgers with fries, and updating of the blog.

When we arrived back at camp, we found it had hailed once again, leaving a decent coating on the ground.  We enjoyed tortilla wraps filled with cheese, hot sauce, and corn chips before relaxing for the evening and getting ready to try once again to climb West Cracks (if there is not too much rain over night).

Monday, July 20th: Pothole Dome

With the weather looking iffy again today, we opted for more short climbs with an easy approach.  We grabbed our morning coffee and parked at the pull-off for the nature trail around Pothole Dome.  The approach was literally 2 minutes…. Awesome!  As we wandered up the gentle slope of the dome where the anchors were located, we could easily see why it was called “Pothole” Dome; the side of the dome was dappled with large curved potholes.  We set up on the nearest anchors first, taking turns running up the 4-5 variations we found, before repeating the process on the second set of anchors.  The climbs ranged from 5.0 to 5.10a, though we found the 5.10a’s to be one move wonders.   We enjoyed the morning playing around on these slab climbs before deciding we were content to move on.

We decided to drive out of the park, to the town of Lee Vining to pick up some new sunglasses and make some phone calls.  The second sunglass tragedy happened that morning, so now things were getting slim in the sunglass department.  We also wanted to call Alex’s Dad for his birthday, and get in touch with the soon to be arriving Doug.   We also figured we would check out Mono Lake and it’s visitors center. 
We grabbed some new cheap sunglasses at an outdoors store, and headed across the street to Bodie Mike’s BBQ for a delicious lunch.  After filling our bellies we headed to Mono Lake Visitors Center, and took a walk down to the lake.  The Visitor’s Center was very nice, with lots of informative and interesting displays.  We watched seagulls feast on the ridiculous number on flies on the water’s edge, glad the flies did not come after us!

We made our way back into the park, contemplating what we wanted to do.  Should we try to climb?  Should we hike?  How soon is it going to rain?   What is single pitch climbs are right next to the road?  The clouds were starting to encroach from all directions as we stopped at the pullout in front of Pywiak Dome.  Zee Tree looked like a fun climb, but it was 6 pitches, and sadly the first 2 pitches were not the good ones.  Across the road was Bunny Slopes, with several single pitch climbs.  Alex said it was probably a bad idea, since the clouds were really closing in, but Dave convinced her to just take the gear for a walk up the base… “It’s RIGHT there!”  Alex conceded, and we made their way across the road with harnesses on, with a last “It’s going to rain.”  As we scrambled our way towards the climbs, the rain drops began to fall, and Dave looked at Alex and said “Time to go!  Whose terrible idea was this anyways?”

Back in the car, we drove towards our campground at Porcupine Flat.  We stopped along the way at Olmsted Point to take some pictures before it really started to rain.  As the rain started to fall, and thunder began to rumble, we moved the car to a spot in the parking area where we could see Half Dome.  Alex suggested we sit there for a while watching the storm, since all we had to do was drive back to camp.  “Maybe we’ll see Half Dome get struck by lightning!”  

That color is known as “impending doom blue”

Once the clouds obscured our views, we headed back to camp, where we found a coating of hail all over the ground.  Dave was sad!  “We missed the hail!!! If we wouldn’t have sat at Olmsted we would have seen the hail!!!”

We quickly ate some peanut butter on graham crackers and made some hot tea before we retreated to the car as the rain began to fall again.  We read and drank our tea while the rain continued to fall.  When the rain slowed to a stop, we were both hungry again, so we crawled out of the car to make some seasoned rice before calling it a night.  Around 4:00AM all the tea and water from early in the night caught up with us and our bladders needed some relief.  Upon returning to the car we were wide awake and laughing over ridiculous things, like kids at a slumber party.