And here I sit in the sun on a wide, smooth, sloping rock.
Before me flows the river. Clear and cold, home to fish and smooth stones, inviting sweaty hikers to dip their dusty feet and welcoming me for a quick dip to cool down and clean off.
Straight ahead is the forest. Thick and full, green with moss and leaves, trees, grey and brown and red, others dead and bleached paled by the sun.
To the left a scramble of stones, piled upon each other and scattered, slowing the water into pools and trickles, the sound is soothing enough for me to nap in the sun for a few minutes.
Squirrels creep about in search of food, tiny lizards and frogs enjoy the rocks near the waters edge. Blue feathered birds bounce from tree to tree.
To the right beyond the sandy shallows is a small foot bridge, another of the thousands of photo opportunities, It acts as the final gateway for this tranquil water before gravity leads to a violent drop, Nevada Falls. Even in September, during this historic 2014 drought, the water flows.
Beyond the falls lay the Yosemite Valley. Hard to absorb in scale and mass, its walls and trees and river and cliffs simply astound those lucky enough to visit.
Behind me Liberty Cap blocks my view of Half Dome, other worldly these granite monuments stand, grey and green against the deep blue above.
This place, this rock, this experience is special. I hope to return to this rock again one day. And to continue to be astonished by the natural world and it’s beauty.
Alex and Andrea are awake now, so it’s time to hike down the winding granite steps to the shuttle then the car then to campsite 144 for cold beer, a refreshing swim in the river, hearty dinner and wine by the fire.