by John Walters
Don’t Half Do-Me Like That!
There was no IAH! yesterday as the staff of MH took its annual field trip, affectionately titled this year as the “Yosemite Scram!” Under the guidance of the intrepid and outstanding Geoff Thurner (and the unbelievable understanding of his wife, Ali, and their newborn) we did the 18-mile round trip hike (almost) up Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
Geoff’s a shrewd and seasoned outdoorsman. Hence, we embarked out of the parking lot at 12:45 a.m, up past Vernal Falls, then past Nevada Falls, making it above the tree line just before dawn. Geoff (and Ali, who stayed back at the homestead) has done this hike four or five times and always summits. The MH staff chickened out right before the cables. We’ll admit it: we wussed out. But we’re alive today, and that’s the big goal.
On average, about two people per year die at Yosemite. And those seem like good odds, until this is your view.
Again, deepest thanks to Geoff and Ali. They are the best. Also, if you’ve never visited Yosemite, you owe it to yourself to do so. At one point during our hike, around 4 a.m. a deer happened upon us. Stood no farther than 10 feet and just stared at us. Just glad it wasn’t a bear.