Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
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Near the quiet village where I live (San Jose-by-the-sea), we are within minutes of some great hiking. The mountains ringing the San Francisco Bay are full of trees, streams and verdant oases of calm.. You’d think that with 4 millions souls living cheek to cheek that it would be hard to find solitude. Even more so you’d think it would be hard to get lost hiking so close to population centers. Well, it happened again.
Just a week ago, local resources were put to the test to find hikers who got lost. A 24-year old woman was hiking in Castle Rock park along the spine of the Santa Cruz coastal range. She wandered off trail and it took searchers over 7 hours to find her. She was hypothermic but will be OK. Big Basin is a great state park near Felton. Nice cool trails with giant redwoods abounding. A 42–year old man was lost and was finally found cold and shivering at 3 am. Lastly, a 24-year old woman did not know where she was while trekking through Skyline Ridge. 75 (no typo – that’s seventy-five) rescuers and a helicopter crew looked for her all night. She managed to bumble out to a nearby house and rapped on the door.
You and I need to get the word out to folks. 1. Buy a GPS. It will track you back the way you went in. 2. Tell someone where you are going. 3. Pick up a map at the entrance. 4. Plan your hike and hike your plan. 5. Carry a whistle. Bring the 10 Essentials on your solo hikes.
Don’t stress out worrying if the Half Dome cables will be up on May 27 as hoped. Play the cards you’re dealt. Take a deep breath, get up from your desk and go for a walk. Your status report can wait. A short walk to the john or out to the parking lot can lift your stress. Taking a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. Just get the blood moving and raise your heartbeat a few ticks. Let those endorphins do their thing and whistle a happy tune. As an aside on that, did you know that the guy who sang “Don’t worry – be happy” died a few years ago. Bobby McFarrin. That song cheers me up.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “It is what it is.” – A wise old man
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com