Yosemite National Park has been on my bucket list for years. I asked Ben if we could go this year and he said he would prefer to go just the two of us without kids because of the long drive. Maybe next year we could pull that off. Fast forward a few months and our friend, Joe Baker, asked Ben to accompany him and his son on an epic boys trip. Ben immediately said yes. I then convinced my parents to come with us so that I could go with my other 3 kids and explore Yosemite as well.
The plan was for Ben and Kyle to spend two days on Lost Arrow Spire while the rest of us hiked and explored other areas of Yosemite. The week before the trip Joe’s wife, Ann, invited me to camp up at the top of Yosemite Falls with the rest of the group. My parents agreed to watch my other 3 kids and I went with Ben and Kyle up the falls.
The hike up to Yosemite Falls was an extremely hard hike. It is almost 4 miles and over 3,000 feet elevation gain. It is steep! It was hot and I was carrying a heavy pack. I never complained because my 10 year old was doing it right along side me and he never complained. He’s a stud.
Once we got to the top of the falls we took a break. We spent hours swimming in the water and cliff jumping. It felt amazing! We were grateful the water was low and we were able to play in it.
After our break, we packed back up and started the 1/2 mile hike to Lost Arrow Spire. Once we arrived at the spire it was GO time. Ben and Kyle harnessed up and waited until the team of people was ready for them. (There was an entire team of people helping make this happen. Guys had gone up the night before and set up the rappels, traverse, and port-a-ledges. The team also included a film crew. We couldn’t have done it without them!)
At sunset, it was time to rappel over to the spire. Kyle was nervous but he was brave. I yelled to him and asked him how he was doing while he was on the traverse. He yelled back and said that he was good. That put my mom heart at ease.
After watching the boys cross over to Lost Arrow Spire and get settled in, it was time for me to set up my camp for the night. It was pitch black by the time I headed up to find a spot. Thank goodness for headlamps! I set up my tent, cooked my dinner, and called it a night. It was my first time camping overnight by myself. I ended up sleeping better than I ever have camping before. It was awesome! It was also the opposite of Ben’s night.
The next morning I radioed Ben on our walkie talkies to see how their night went. He told me that it was the worst night of his life. He didn’t sleep at all. He joked that the first thing he was going to do when we got home was sell the port-a-ledge. I got to talk to Kyle and cheer him on for the big day that was in front of him.
After packing up my little campsite I ate breakfast and headed down to the cliff’s edge to watch the boys jumar, rappel and traverse back over. When I got to the edge they were playing the card game old maid and shooting nerf guns at each other. (They tied a string to the balls of the nerf gun and were able to shoot the balls without loosing them. GENIUS!)
After the nerf guns and card game they flew a kite. It was quite a sight. Anyone in that part of the park could see the kite flying.
After packing back up they had to make their way up the spire and then over the traverse before jumaring their way up to yesterday’s starting point. It took a while.
All that was left was to hike back down. We stopped at the pools to play for a few minutes and filter water before making the long trek down. What a day!
If I hadn’t been there to witness this adventure in person I wouldn’t have believed the magnitude of it all. Our friend Joe is a big dreamer. He came up with all of this and all I can say is WOW! We feel privileged to have been able to experience it.
When the opportunity to adventure comes along. Take it!