Random Notes from Dallas

Apologies to anyone who might be following this blog, I haven’t had time to post in a few months, having started a new job recently.  The work is interesting, my new colleagues friendly, and it’s exciting to have the chance to make a difference.  As an aside, the job requires frequent travel to Dallas, which is a change of pace from the Hudson Valley and a nice place to spend some time in the winter.  True, there have been a few cold days with rainy gray skies and temperatures in the 30s (perfect hypothermia conditions if you were wandering around outside), and sometimes the northern wind comes howling across the flat open prairie so hard it might knock you over.  But a few days later, the sun’s back out, the winds have calmed, and the temperature’s soaring into the 70s.  And the next morning I’m surprised when the car thermometer reads 24 F…

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Random Notes from Dallas

Setting Foot in Yosemite (for the very first time)

My four-week southwestern pilgrimage is drawing to a close, and what stands between my current location in Mammoth Lakes and the San Francisco airport is. . . . Yosemite National Park, John Muir’s temple of the wilderness, in which “every rock seems to glow with life.”

This is sacred ground, with 4.3 million visitors last year.  This year, having just reopened after a month’s closure due to forest fires, no doubt the park will be thronged.  What’s needed is a thoughtful plan:  an infiltration route from a remote trailhead to a suitable vantage point overlooking the valley, sparing me the crowds below.  A chance encounter with a friendly trail volunteer supplies me with exactly this:  a 16-mile route from Porcupine Creek Trailhead to North Dome and the top of Yosemite Falls.

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Setting Foot in Yosemite (for the very first time)

More in Moab

My objectives:  explore the desert, get acclimated to the heat, build back some running stamina without aggravating injuries, continue to condition the feet.  The goal isn’t to overdo things, but still to do a lot, and this requires an aggressive tempo of operations:  breakfast, run or hike, dinner, plan the next day’s activities, bed — repeat.  The planning is time-consuming:  there’s an overwhelming volume of information on the internet, and not all of equal quality.  My best source turns out to be the motel clerk who’s been exploring this area with his wife for the last ten years.

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More in Moab