“Positivity. I’m surrounded by positivity. People who want me to feel loved. I’m two day’s in and most of the hiking we’ve done is uphill. I’m pretty sure this is the highest altitude I’ve ever been at, outside of plane rides. It’s been so good…other than the nasty blister on my left big toe. I’m hiking in a group of people made up of Amy’s old trail mates. There’s eight of us in total: Ian, Shoe, CM, David, Kelsi, Jul, Amy, and I.
David has been letting me stay in his tent because Amy and Jul’s three person tent was designed for contortionists. David is incredibly kind. Come to think of it, everyone here is….”
That was a portion of my journal entry from August 29th 2017, two days into my Yosemite trip. It’s been a few weeks since the trip and I think about it often. I think about the way I felt on the trip, the happiness and gratefulness, the disconnect from the outside world. I’m grateful for the time I got to spend in Yosemite. Since I got back the feelings of peace have been fading and replaced with exhaustion.
When I got back to my apartment on September 3rd, I had a full day before I had to go back to work. I took that time and wrote a journal entry that I (a bit dramatically) titled “A Moment of Clarity.” It’s way too honest to share here, but in that moment I knew I was in a special headspace and I needed to talk my future self, a future self who was outside of that headspace. I wrote six rules for my future self to read and follow. Oddly enough I haven’t followed a single one since I wrote them down.
These last few weeks have been difficult, but I’ve rediscovered those six rules, written in a clear mind, and I’ve worked on applying them. Things are getting better.
I write this Thought and Photos, partly to document the trip, but also as an attempt to relive it.
What you’re looking at, in the photo above, is five full sized packs expertly shoved into the back of our tiny Jeep Compass. What you won’t see in any of the proceeding photos is the 5 full sized humans also packed in this vehicle, this is due to the fact that I was so close to the people next to me that I couldn’t physically bring my camera out to take a shot. “Shebangs” – A whole clove of garlic, wrapped in cheddar cheese, topped with a splash of hot-sauce. Do you like flavor? Every night on the trail, Kelsi would bring out her tiny journal from four years ago, when she was apart of the trail crew, and would read a few entries. From this little book I heard stories of adventure and the day to day life of a trail crew member. The stories made the group reminisce, on one occasion cry, but most of all it made us laugh. This is the face you make when your taste buds first experience an expertly crafted, open flame charred, spam cube with a Gatorade powder dry rub. In my opinion, they weren’t too bad, as long as you char the hell out of them. Exploding cats destroyed my friendship with David.I previously stated that this was my favorite photo from the whole set and I stand by that. I got super lucky with the composition. I was just barely able to get the three subjects (Ian, Jul, and mountain) entirely in the photo and I got lucky with the directions of Ian and Juls heads. I like moments that aren’t forced by myself, where I just get lucky. At this point, I should talk about my obsession with CM’s facial expressions. Go back through this set of images and just take note of CM’s expressions. They’re always classic. Always spot on. The best gas station lobster taquitos on the planet. The second to last night of our trip, I was handed a tarp and was told to wrap myself up like a burrito. It was the second time I’ve ever slept out under the stars. The first time I was 11 years old, at camp Stony Glen. This time I was 24 and I was overlooking Mono lake. Both were after a week where I had the time of my life. Both I’ll never forget. The three photos above tell the story of Kai discovering a nice little treasure chest filled with a bounty of narcotics and Altoids that most definitely were not Altoids. That’s the set. I’m incredibly grateful to Amy Ricciardi and Jul Huntley for letting me tag along on another adventure. A huge thanks goes out to Kelsi, CM, David, Ian, Kai, Liz, Shoe, Pricila, and everyone else on trip for being so kind to someone so inexperienced.
You guys made the trip great.
All the photos in the set were taken with my Sony a7sii and were taken with either a Minolta 28mm f2.8 or Minolta 50mm f1.4.