John Muir was a naturalist who was instrumental in ensuring the preservation of vast areas of nature in Alaska and the rest of the US. He’s a man who had seen much beauty and said this about Yosemite: “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” I feel the same way and I simply don’t have the words to adequately describe the majesty of what we saw and photos cannot capture the immense beauty or the emotions we experienced.
As the Tioga Road Pass was closed due to snow, we had to approach the park from the west, via Yosemite Lakes where we were camped. Riding into the park the scenery was nothing to write home about. However soon we entered a tunnel through the mountain and as we came out the other side we were dumbstruck at the awesome sight…and it simply kept getting better! I was tearful at seeing such beauty and thinking: “Surely this is what Paradise looks like…”
We were up early on a day with clear blue sky and being on the bikes experiencing the magnificence around us was just incredible! With the late arrival of spring after a severe winter, the snow is only just thawing and some roads are still closed due to snow. But what this gifted us with was a spectacular showcase of waterfalls which are magnificent and full, thundering down loudly in huge masses of white water over massive granite cliffs. Paul and I hiked under Bridal Veil Falls and stood in our motorcycle gear under the icy shower, soaking it all in and giggling like children at the wonderful experience.
Glacier Point was closed to cars, due to heavy traffic, but I managed to sweet talk the ranger, convincing him that on bikes we did not need to ‘park’. This proved to be the highlight of our day, riding up to >7000ft above the canyon, into the snow. At the top we hiked to the lookout and had to stand back from the edge as vertigo took over as we peered over the edge to the valley below.
Paul said he’s fascinated by our role reversal and how I’ve changed. He’s never known me so chilled out and happily kicking back. (Even the worst day we experienced, riding overloaded bikes out of Vancouver Airport, stalling in the pouring rain during rush hour traffic did not phase me in the least.) He’s encouraged me to consider who I really am, and what it was our Sydney lifestyle that had me so stressed. I’m feeling incredibly content, enjoying being steeped in nature and I’m loving this nomadic life where every day is a surprise and people have been so open in acknowledging us and also their own dreams. The places we’ve seen and experienced so far have been incredible and nature so majestic. Canada, Alaska and now the West Coast of the US. I’ve never seen such majesty, such vastness, such rugged beauty.
I’ve been considering Paul’s challenge and I think who I really am is “a gypsy with a fetish for cowboys singing country western!” Last night we sat out under the stars with a bottle of red wine, listening to yet another live country music band and my heart was glowing with the pleasure of it all. Paul reckons every country western song has a lonesome man, a ‘baby who left me’, a truck, a dog, sometimes whiskey and a loaded shotgun in the lyrics so he tried to woo me with his own rendition which went something like this: “Oh I’m so lonesome…oooh…I’m just gonna load my shotgun and walk outta this darn town…oooh…’cause my baby left me…she took my truck…oooh…and my one eyed dog…oh I’m so lonesome…how I miss that dawg!”