How can it be that I had never been to the High Sierra? I have lived in California for 43 years. It brought to mind that I had never visited the Statue of Liberty until after moving to California although I had grown up in Brooklyn.
I had explored Yosemite Valley a few times many years ago but wasn’t really aware that there was a whole other aspect to Yosemite. Until I went. What a revelation! I was familiar with large-scale granite landscapes from hiking in New Hampshire (The Granite State) since I was a kid. But this was something else again. Giant slabs of grey and beige rock rolling into enormous cliffs or boulders, mountains or ledges.
Gorgeous grassy meadows filled with purple Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, yellow daisies and so many other wild flowers. Quiet forests majestic with redwoods. Placid rivers turning into roaring waterfalls.
And then there are the High Sierra camps, six of them, comprising a rough circle half above and half below Highway 120, each approximately a seven to nine mile hike from one another. With their rustic tents and community dining rooms, there is no internet. Conversation between strangers is animated and wide-ranging, sometimes turning into acquaintanceships or even friendships.
As day turns into evening, the sky darkens with dramatic cumulonimbus clouds. The last rays of the sun cast the high peaks in red and gold.
And I have found a place close to home to which I hope to return and explore soon again.