In just a few short hours, I'll be taking off for Yosemite to backpack through the John Muir Trail and climb up Half Dome. It's one of the things that my main character in my new YA book does, so it's solely a "research" trip, of course. Am I committed to my art, or what?
I did this same trip when I was 15 with my mom and a bunch of dudes she worked with. And, call me wimpy, but I remember it being really freaking hard. After climbing Half Dome, I swear I couldn't walk for three weeks. That thing is a bear! Speaking of bears, the second night out, a family of bears (or perhaps really hungry humans who were amazing tree climbers) ransacked our food supply that was hanging 20 feet up on the "bear safe" cables attached to the trees. Our group of ten spent the remainder of the trip rationing nuts and raisins that we scavanged from other hikers. I swear, it was like Survivor: Yosemite. No joke! We even exiled one guy to Voglesang when we found out he'd stashed a couple Slim-Jims in his socks, selfishly hoping to feast on them alone after we had fallen asleep. And speaking of Voglesang, at one point in the trip we thought it was a good idea to hike really fast up to the 11,000 foot high spot, just for fun. I ended up with an epic case of altitude sickness, heaving, hurling, and seizing in my sleeping bag. I swear I still have brain damage from the cerebral edema. Good times.
Hopefully, this trip will be a bit easier than that first trip. But, if not, at least I'll have some good material for my book. Here's hoping I don't get frost-bit, bear-bit, snake-bit, altitude-sick, water-parasite sick, homesick, struck by lightning, poison oak, sunburn, sunstroke, or fall off any mountains. On second thought, I'm wimpier than I thought. Maybe I'll just sit here on my couch and watch South Park reruns. Research-Schmesearch.
NOTE: This post was written last Friday. Eve, in fact, has not watched any South Park reruns for a couple of days. Late Sunday, she will return to share with us which ailments she avoided...and which she did not.