Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My First Yosemite Trip

A loud crack exploded from the back of the bus. An overweight Mexican jumped out the broken bus window and sprinted alongside the road.  
The Hipster Handbook describes anyone out of luck as "Riding Greyhound"

In June of 2001, after driving across the US from my father’s home in upstate New York, my sister dropped me off at the Phoenix Greyhound Station.  While still in Arizona, the bus stopped for immigration officers to check our papers. A tall crosseyed man with two plastic shopping bags ran to the bathroom door when the officer came on board.  A few minutes later I heard the crack.
This is pretty much what happened
The officer tackled him after 50 yards and the bus drove to Merced with a broken window and the bathroom door locked from the inside. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only trying to escape. 

From Merced, I hopped on the Yosemite shuttle. In the white Valley bus, I tossed two duffle bags. One bag contained an alarm clock, a pair of shorts, and my eyeglasses.  My newer duffle held my climbing equipment for my trip- an unused rope, brand new cams, and 300 feet of webbing which I thought would be enough to set up a toprope on El Capitan.
El Capitan was about 10 times larger than I expected.  
 Pulling into the Valley floor, the enormous granite walls and towering formations dwarfed the Adirondacks and Green Mountains of my youth.  El Capitan was much larger than I had expected.  A few days later, I started work, making beds at the Yosemite Lodge.  I spent my paychecks on more toproping webbing.