We were going to Yosemite and we were climbing Half Dome. That’s all there was to it. I had found out that you have to join a lottery to get a permit, as they now limit the number of people that can climb it each day, but I wasn’t worried. There were only two of us and we had multiple days to choose from. Our chances of getting a permit were pretty much guaranteed. In addition, I could enter the lottery in my name and again in Brett’s increasing our chances that much more. There were still a couple of months before the lottery opened, so I put a reminder on my phone and forgot about it.
In the meantime, I researched everything about Half Dome. I knew it wasn’t an easy hike, so I wanted to be prepared, and I had to convince Brett that this was something he wanted to do. He can hike like a beast, but he’s not a big fan of heights. I found videos of little kids on it, and lots of first-hand accounts. I also came across the documentary Valley Uprising, which instantly became one of my favorites. I have watched it three times, and I’m sure I’ll watch it again. After our intense Half Dome immersion, Brett was in.
The day of the lottery, my reminder went off and I entered us the moment it opened. I entered us both under multiple days and the only thing left to do was to wait for the email telling us for which day we had been chosen, which wouldn’t be for a month and a half. I was so excited I couldn’t stand it!
Everything was planned. I had recently purchased new hiking boots especially for this trip and was busy breaking them in. I had our packing list all dialed in, camel backs washed, high carb and protein snacks purchased, backpacks, hiking poles, lightweight rain jackets. We were ready!
And FINALLY the day arrived. Three emails from the National Park Service were in my inbox, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I opened the first one. “We’re sorry to inform you that you have not been selected for a Half Dome permit for June 6.” Okay, no biggie. I had two more emails and Brett had three. I opened the second. “We’re sorry to inform you that you have not been selected for a Half Dome permit for June 7.” My heart started beating a little faster. I opened the third. “We’re sorry to inform you…”
“Brett! I need you to look at your email!” I was starting to sweat. There have been too many times to count over the years, when I have been so thankful I married an unflappable man. The more worked up I get, the calmer he becomes. This was one of those times. After months of anticipation, research, DEVOTION, we had been rejected. It hurt. A lot. And I’m not proud to say that there were tears. For better or worse, I tend to get passionate.
I didn’t even want to go anymore. What was the point? It took me a few days, but I started to come around. I was being a total baby and I needed to get over myself. It was Yosemite, for God’s sake! We hadn’t been rejected; we had been unlucky in a random lottery. And there were a ton of other amazing hikes. I started my research anew. I was determined to make this one hell of a trip.
Up next: Yosemite by any other name…
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