A day after reaching Yosemite I went to the wilderness office to find a two day hike to somewhere beautiful. The ranger helped me settle on a one way route starting at May Lake and ending in Tuolumne Meadows.
Finally! My first backpacking trip since Mt. Whitney last year. I am not really a lover of hikes, but rather a lover of the outdoors and being alone in the wilderness. Sometimes the most beautiful places you can only get to on foot. So backpacking became a hobby of mine.
Around 3pm I took my car to the May Lake parking lot and packed up my things. When I found the trail head, it read: May Lake 1.2 miles. Lol. Oh well my first night would be there so up I went and actually it was a pretty tough 1.2 miles. All uphill and starting around 7000ft elevation.
The landscape, gorgeous. The mosquitos, a plenty. I fought those little vampires the whole trip. When I got to May Lake it was packed with kids, parents and other hikers. I was the only solo hiker. I set up camp right in the middle of everything, ate and went to sleep.
The next morning I got out and started the 8 mile decent to my next camp in Glen Aulin. The hike was super picturesque. Tall pines that smelled fresh and birds chirped as they flew in and out. Green grass up to my waist where the chipmunks and squirrels hid. Wildflowers that were pink, blue, purple, yellow, and white. Many times I half expected bunnies to pop up out of the grass because it was so beautiful. At the entrance to Glen Aulin you see Tuolumne Falls. Falls are always magnificent.
Sometimes the loneliest moments in my life had been in places where I was by myself in a crowd of people. But during the past 3 days I never felt that way. In fact I saw 4 solo male backpackers and 5 solo female backpackers. I also remembered my friends who are experiencing the same journey as I am. How could I feel lonely knowing that so many other people are feeling the same emotions? Frustration, complacency, indecision, fear, insecurity, depression, sadness, and the list goes on.
So really I came to understand one of the lessons the Dalai Llama has been trying to teach the world.
Loneliness is a state of mind.
You can be the only person for miles in a the wide open wilderness, but your suffering and emotions are never only felt by you. In expressing my emotions I find and keep finding other people who can relate and understand. I am not alone. I will never truly be alone. Thank you to everyone who understands.
My hike ended with a 4.5 mile descent into Tuolumne Meadows and a shuttle ride and another 1.5 mile ascent back to my car. Two days and two nights in the wilderness. A good start to facing the change.