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Yosemite in a Day

It's not my first time to do Yosemite in a day. It's not common, and just because people are often confused/impressed/whatever, it's also not wrong. It's not misguided to wake up around four or five in the morning, to load up your car and start driving north east. Instead, you feel very, very right as stretches of orchards replace the cityscape, and then rolling hills with grazing cattle replace the planted rows of trees, and then tall, tall pines that form a thick wall of forestry welcome you in the Stanislaus National Forest right before you reach the gates of Yosemite National Park.

Rolling past the admissions booth around eight or nine am, you can't help but smile. As you drive toward the valley, holding your breath through the tunnels, and losing it all over again as you behold Half Dome or the sun lighting the river that snakes through the valley, you know you've won big. Stop by the natural spring and collect some fresh water just as if you were passing "Go." Then drive through the valley framed by giants — El Capital, Cathedral Rocks, Sentinel Rock — and behold majesty.

For Thanksgiving, Morgan and I stayed in California. We did the Black Friday thing, we went to our respective Friendsgiving celebrations and then we got the heck out of town. The woods were waiting. We raced there and then began to climb the Mist Trail. We raced time and the coming snow. We skipped lunch and marveled at waterfalls instead. We kept an eye on the newly forming ice, we took a long, long detour, we shed layers and just as quickly, we put them back on. We finally ate an early dinner and then exited the park to the holiday tunes of James Brown, all whilst the snow began to fall and stick to the ground.

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