I'm so excited to continue this series and share more of our trip with y'all!
If you want to watch (instead of read) here's the video form our trip:
Otherwise, let's get started!
After Tuesday, Daniel and I woke up Wednesday and were exhausted!
We definitely didn't prepare for a (previous) full day of relatively intense hiking the day before, so our bodies needed a recovery day. And I'm glad we made this decision (even if I was initially hesitant, mostly because I didn't want to have FOMO of all the other trails we could do).
But it was a really lovely and charming day!
We built a fire and had a slow, quiet morning. We were so hungry, we actually ended up making not one but two breakfast (a la hobbit style). We did dishes, took a shower in a wash basin (because we literally couldn't find a park ranger anywhere to ask questions). We played a lot of card games, enjoyed a solid nap, talked about our sweet baby and dreamed of the future.
It was a really calm and quiet day, but a beautiful, relaxing and quality day together.
In hindsight, I do think it was very wise of us to spend a day recouping from the previous day of hiking (Tuesday) and then a really epic day of hiking the upcoming day (Thursday). Definitely set ourselves up for success in that way!
So today was easily one of the most epic days we experienced this week! I'm sooo grateful we took yesterday to rest our bodies, hydrate on water, fill up on good carbs and food and just overall have a chill day.
As you may or may not know about me, I don't love chill days - which is why the verse "Be Still and know that I am God" always challenges me so much. Mostly because I'm of the, "while we're here let's do ALL things" and my husband is a, "I love adventure, but I also love to rest in between, too." I'm grateful, because (especially in pregnancy) he keeps reminding me that rest is good, and necessary. He definitely grounds me in a lot of ways, and I'm thankful for that.
Anyways, we rested Wednesday knowing that Thursday was going to be a strenuous hike (little did we know how hardcore the day way - made me even more grateful we rested and ate well the day before).
Also, Tuesday we weren't anticipating doing a lot of hiking, so we didn't pack a ton of food. Big mistake! So today, I legit packed us eat 4 half sandwiches (after we ate a big, protein breakfast), and like basically all of the snacks and protein bars we had.
So we were definitely set up for success this time!
Today, our epic hike was hiking to the top of Yosemite falls.
While we did anticipate this wasn't an "easy" hike, we definitely underestimated the heat (this was the first day we had sunshine - I legit think I started the day with three sweaters on and didn't realize it would warm up).
Thankfully, I had a tank underneath all those sweaters as an extra layer - cause the heat and sunshine was with us today! It was great to have beautiful weather, but I definitely didn't realize how much the sun would impact our hiking (since we hadn't really seen the sun all week).
Also, Upper Yosemite Falls is only 3.5 miles up and the same back down - which doesn't sound like much, until you consider that it's all switch backs (literally think zigzagging back and forth about a thousand times up and down) at a very steep incline.
Again, I think we underestimated the hike a bit, but we were definitely super prepared (food wise) and I was super grateful!
So it probably took us about 4 hours to hike to the top?
This is mostly because we took breaks (what felt like) every ten minutes... ha! At first I thought it was because I was pregnant and my body was just performing a little slower than regular, non pregnant bodies... but then I realized that 90% of the people that started the hike with us were also taking frequent breaks! So that definitely made me feel better.
Again, I was okay and anticipated needing breaks because of pregnancy, but I'm also stubborn and don't like to use pregnancy as an excuse to not do things. It's been a constant challenge finding the balance between not being lazy because I'm pregnant, but also not pushing myself because I'm pregnant. If that makes any sense.
Now, please know that we were extremely careful (trust me, Daniel asked me like every 5 minutes how I was doing) and I listened to my body. Anytime I needed a rest, I took it. Sometimes the rest was just for 30 seconds, sometimes it was for 5 minutes. We took quite a few probably 15 minute breaks to eat a sandwich and just look out at the epic views.
But overall, it was a really fun challenge to see that my body was still capable of (literally) climbing a mountain!
The waterfall was beautiful - but if I'm being perfectly honest, it was a little disappointing.
We had hiked this huge mountain, and you really didn't have a great view of the top of the waterfall. Daniel and I both felt that the views (and the hike) up to Vernal Falls on Tuesday was less strenuous, a more fun hike, just as epic views and an even better snapshot of the top of the waterfall... So that was by far our favorite.
But, we made the most of it. We enjoyed a nap in the shade at the top of a mountain, with the waterfall sounds close by. Even though the views (in our opinion) wasn't near as epic or worth the hike as Vernal Falls, we were still super grateful for the experience and it was still incredibly stunning everywhere you looked!
Literally, I don't think there's a corner of Yosemite that isn't stunning.
The hike down was almost just as hard as the hike up!
A lot of the trail was very rocky (like in the photo above) and pretty steep. So even though it probably only took as 3 hours to get down instead of the 4 to get up, it was still pretty crazy to realize that the hike down was going to be hard, too.
But I'm grateful, because Daniel held my hand almost the entire way. Again, we wanted to be careful that I wouldn't accidentally trip, slip or fall and hurt myself or baby.
Even though hiking down wasn't super fun (I also have bad joints from being a gymnast, so usually hiking or walking down anywhere is always harder for me than up), it was a really special moment getting to hold Daniels hand the entire way down and have him help me literally ever step of the journey.
Probably one of the biggest highlights and special memories of the day and this trip.
This was near the bottom of the upper falls - like vernal falls, it was super misty! I'm glad we brought our rain jackets so that we didn't end up soaked (like we did on Tuesday).
This hike was super epic, and I'm not gonna lie... We both felt pretty ballin' after having completed it. I was right around 20 weeks pregnant, and again just felt accomplished for having done the hike while pregnant.
Again, we did it slow, steady and safely, but I'm so glad we did it and that I felt (and still feel) healthy enough to have accomplished this amazing hike!
It was so weird looking from the perspective of the bottom photo - from the valley floor of Yosemite, looking up to the top of Upper Falls and thinking, "We hiked that."
271 floors. That's 2,710 feet up (and then back down).
11 total miles we hiked.
Over 25,000 steps.
Super. Epic. Day.
Friday morning we woke up to freezing temps (per usual). It was sad to realize it was already our last day and that we had to pack up today! But after an epic hiking day on Tuesday and another epic hiking day on Thursdays, we felt like we had accomplished what we came here to do.
We made breakfast, warmed up by a beautiful fire (shout out to Daniel for always having fires stoked when we were at our campsite) and then packed up all our stuff and headed on the road!
Somehow we had managed to almost perfectly run out of all the food on the last day - we seemed to finish the last big item (oatmeal) for breakfast. I'm grateful for how well this worked out!
Overall, this trip couldn't have been more perfect!
Literally, it was an excellent balance of epic adventures and hikes, with a lot of down/chill time for us just to enjoy each others company and get a ton of undistracted quality time together.
Honestly, I think one of my favorite parts was the fact that we didn't have our phones for an entire week... So we had to hang out and just spend time together.
Again, we do this at home a lot, but then a text comes in or something, and you get distracted. So it was just to have unplugged time together. 10/10 recommend.
So that was our trip!
Hope you enjoyed this little blog and vlog series, and if you ever get the chance to visit Yosemite - DO IT! It's hands down one of our favorite places, and I definitely have a feeling we will be back again sooner than later.