President's Day started off with another delicious breakfast. After packing up, we said good-bye to Ron and Liz and headed out. Unless it's Summer and we're camping, I would definitely love to stay at the Blue Butterfly again. It was a great experience.
We went through the Rock Arch gate and this time, took a couple of minutes to stage a photo of SMS driving the Prius through the Arch. Maybe it's a little corny, but I thought the rock arch was really cool.
|Go on with your bad self, lil' Prius along with your incredible MPGs!|
|Relaxing on the Ledge, Half Dome in the background|
And then we slowed down. The whole time we were there, only two pairs were climbing- us and the people we were directly behind. Climbing can be a little tricky because you never know who's going to show up and when. As a result, we wanted to start climbing right away because we didn't know if anyone else would show up. In retrospect, maybe we should have chilled on the ground for about 45 minutes so we could have just kept climbing without long breaks but really, there was no way to know.
|On the ledge|
|Taking a selfie from the hanging belay, right before starting Pitch 3|
For the third pitch, SMS had to set up a hanging belay, which is a little scary if I overthought it so I tried to ignore the fact that two pieces of equipment and a really thick webbing was all that was keeping me from falling to the ground. Instead, I just focused on happy thoughts and all the amazing beauty around me. Cheesy but better than "Ohmygodimgoingtodie!!!!"
|SMS climbing Pitch 3|
|Panorama from the Top: Half Dome on the Left and the Sentinel behind, slightly to the left|
|We did it!|
|This made me flash back to a college religion class, Sacred Geographies|
|Re-hydrated but a little hungry!|
We went to Yosemite Lodge and split a cheeseburger and fries. We were planning on going to Commonwealth later so we didn't want to eat too big a meal. You know, a modicum of restraint a few hours before a cheesy delicious nacho feast!
When we were done with our tide-us-over snack, it was almost time for the Firefall. We pulled into the El Capitan picnic area lot where we had parked for our Nutcracker climb earlier that day. There were so many photographers in that area! While the effect wasn't quite as intense as Saturday's, it was still pretty awesome and we were glad we stayed. It was a great ending for our Yosemite trip!
|Firefall! It's a little hard to see in this photo but really, the water looks like magna!|