Crystal: We’ve once again been neglecting our blog. We’re sorry. We’re horrible people. OK not really, I mean, sorry we’re not sorry but sometimes life gets away from you. You know what I’m talking about.
Jonathan: I’m honestly not sorry, nor do I think we owe anybody an explanation. We need time to go do the shit we write about anyway right? How do you do this if you’re constantly buried in the computer? I’ll tell you…you don’t. Or at the very least your blog is boring as hell. If we didn’t take the time to go have little adventures now and then you know what people would read about? Us watching Netflix or Amazon Prime and us watching Bella go crazy running back and forth on the couch or her random tired-barking when she thinks she hears something. Actually…now that I think about it, that is pretty entertaining…the dog part. More people should have dogs. And by more people I’m specifically referring to Paulette.
Crystal: Yes! Paulette definitely needs a pooch. Okay. We’ll get the sad shit out of the way first.
Jonathan: Uh oh.
We lost Moritz.
Jonathan: Blows. Huge. Moritz, despite his penchant for creating little (and not-so-little) lakes of vomit that one might easily step in during the middle of the night…in bare feet…gross…was absolutely the man!!!
Crystal: I know he was old and he had a good life, but it still hurt like hell. He was such a little personality. We have a wonderful vet, Dr. Laurie at the Animal Clinic of Benicia. She came to our house so Moritz wouldn’t have to endure being in a strange setting.
We miss you, buddy.
Jonathan: Yep. And Dr. Laurie takes care of her humans just as much as their furry companions. Making a house-call to help ease the emotional toll of losing a pet may seem like a simple thing, but it was an indescribably huge deal to us as pet owners and we will be forever grateful for it.
Crystal: OK. No more tears. Let’s move on to lighter subjects.
Jonathan: Yes. Let’s.
Crystal: We’ve gone to Yosemite TWICE. The first trip was crazy, we did an epic 15 mile hike up Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point and then Panorama Trail back to the valley. We were SO sore the next day, we were walking like a couple of 80 year olds that had just run three marathons in a row.
Jonathan: As Crystal has told me, it’s impossible to accurately describe how huge Yosemite is…you just have to see it. It’s true. Words nor pictures do it justice. That being said I’m going to try anyway.
Crystal: Of course you are. 🙂
Jonathan: I’ll be brief, using mostly pictures. 😉
This is Crystal at the Four Mile Trail trailhead. We’re on the valley floor at this point and that’s Sentinel Rock towering over her in the clouds. About four hours after this photo, we’d find ourselves 3,214 above the valley floor. Take note of that large boulder to Crystal’s left. It looks big, right? Just wait.
Here is Crystal next to that same boulder. You can see exactly how deceptive the scale of this place can be. Like I said, it’s hard to put it into words or even pictures.
Here’s another shot to try to put things into perspective. Scroll back up to that first pic of the trailhead. That big rock in the clouds? There it is behind me in this picture (that pointy, sheer-faced rock just to the right of me). At this point we’ve hiked up almost 3,000 feet above the valley floor.
And this was our view of Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls (2,425 feet), directly across the valley from our location. Pretty wild huh?
We’re getting pretty close to the highest point of our hike here. This is where the trail finally begins to get a little less steep (albeit not by much) but nonetheless continues to impress with its ability to make you feel SO tiny.
And here was our reward for making it to the top. The view from Glacier Point. I’d say it was worth it. It’s also good to note that we still had about a 10 mile hike back down to the valley via the Panorama and Mist trails. That would take us the rest of the day and end up with our final couple miles of descent occurring after nightfall. That was a bit of a miscalculation on my part, but we were prepared with lights and used our heads to ensure we made it down safely…AND we even made it back to camp in time to order a pizza!!!
Crystal: It was no miscalculation, although it’s sweet of you to call it that. The lack of daylight was due to my struggle to get up 4 Mile Trail. It took us longer than Jonathan anticipated, because I had to keep stopping. I literally couldn’t get enough air, and at a few of the switchbacks I had to sit down because I felt like I was going to throw up. Lovely, what altitude can do to a person. But it was absolutely worth it. Would I do it again? Umm…..maybe.
The second time we went we hiked around in the valley and saw many cool things that most people miss as they’re staring up at the glorious vistas surrounding them.
Jonathan: Like this little guy!
Crystal: Yes, which I apparently missed even though you stopped to snap several pictures of him.
As for the vistas, there’s Half Dome. I only took a few pictures on my phone. Jonathan took a bunch with his fancy camera. Here’s another from my phone:
That’s Washington Column. We saw climbers on that crazy rock!
Jonathan: Oh…you mean these guys? Can you spot them? There are three of them and they were JUST starting their climb as night was falling.
We could hear their voices echoing through the valley and see their headlamps moving while we laid out in the middle of a dried up pool/creek bed near the base of Half Dome and took in views like this:
Crystal: That was amazing. I’ve never seen so many stars! I was worried about becoming a bear snack, so I insisted on holding one of Jonathan’s knives the entire time. We were fine though, I guess all the bears had full stomachs that night.
We also saw a bobcat, who was too fast for Jonathan to get his camera out (sneaky puss), a herd of deer walking through Camp Curry, and a lone ten point buck relaxing in the shade under Sentinel Bridge.
Jonathan: Here’s the mule deer buck.
As for the bobcat…I believe I was guilty of one of the cardinal sins of photography: NOT having my camera out as we were walking. Had I just taken it out when we started (like I should have), you’d all have a nice picture of a bobcat to gaze upon. Instead, you get this “Where’s Waldo” version that I’ve had to enhance a bit to help you pick out the vague shape of the elusive little feline.
If you look carefully in the highlighted circle area you can JUST make out the four legs and paws of the bobcat as it trotted off into the bushes. It’s running left to right and away from the camera (just to give you an idea of what you’re trying to see). I know…this is like one of those Bigfoot photos, but I swear on my life that that bobcat was real and we saw it.
Crystal: I swear too! It was there!
Jonathan: We stayed in the Curry Village Campground both trips to Yosemite and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering visiting. The facilities are fantastic, food/supplies are close, and you’re RIGHT in the heart of the valley. Here’s a picture of Curry after we came back from our stargazing trip.
Finally, as we were leaving Yosemite this last time, we saw a wildfire burning above Bridalveil Falls.
If you look closely you can see the firefighting helicopter to the left of the smoke plume. They were dipping into Bridalveil Creek to help fight the fire. At this point it had only consumed about an acre, but it went on to burn around 40 acres. There was no danger to people or the park infrastructure and, as it happens, is quite crucial to maintaining the ecosystem of Yosemite.
Wildfires also create spectacular lighting conditions making already glorious vistas (like the Tunnel View here) even more impressive.
Crystal: We also went back to Disneyland and rode rides to our heart’s content. We were talking about going back in December, to see Disneyland in all its Christmas glory, but we’re driving to Dallas again this year and decided that would be a bit much. Maybe next year.
Jonathan: Ahem…camping our way to Dallas. Not just driving.
Crystal: SHHHH!!! I haven’t gotten to that part yet.
Jonathan: Oops. I mean…yeah, we’re driving to Dallas.
Crystal: Like I was saying, Bella is doing well. She got into the Disney spirit too:
Isn’t she the cutest dog on the planet?!
Now. We also bought, drum roll please….
Jonathan: Even though I already gave it away.
Crystal: A TENT!
Jonathan: Not just ANY tent though. It’s a—
Jonathan: Oh…you’re going to tell them aren’t you?
Jonathan: And I almost gave it away again didn’t I?
Jonathan: But I’m SO excited about it!
Crystal: I know! So am I and so is Bella!
Yes folks, the Biccums are going camping. Jonathan, as intrepid as ever, researched until he found a tent that would last a long time and be easy to set up. He decided on the…
Jonathan: Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tent!
Jonathan: Yes. Thank you.
Crystal: And, like Jonathan mentioned, we’re going to camp our way down to Dallas. But first we’ll be heading to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to see how Bella does in a tent. Will she sleep soundly? Will she bark and huff at every noise? We don’t know. Hence the testing of the hound in a camping environment.
Jonathan: But either way we’ve committed to camping our way down, so she’s just going to have to get used it. Which she will. And why? Because she’s the BEST DOG IN THE WORLD!!!
Crystal: Yes she is!!!
Another fantastic update is that my mom has cancer beat, like the little bitch it is!
Jonathan: BOOM!!! Cancer can suck it!!!
Crystal: She just had a check-up and is good to go. So thank GOD for that! Also, my dad found out his thyroid was misbehaving and is now on meds, which has cleared up some of his issues. Good stuff!
Jonathan gets out of the Air Force in….ONE MONTH! WHOA! Yes, he will soon be a civilian with a beard. And lots more tattoos.
All right folks. I can’t promise that it won’t be a long time before we blog again, but rest assured we haven’t forgotten about you. Have a great Halloween!