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The First View of Yosemite Valley

I never even dared to think that I could ever see Yosemite in real life, with my own eyes. And so at the same moment when, after leaving the tunnel which Wawona Rd goes through, I caught the first glimpses of the Yosemite Valley with El Captain and Half Dome illuminated with late-afternoon light and Bridalveil Falls already hidden in shadows, actual tears started to flow down my cheeks.

I'm going to tell you something. Maybe, the law of attraction is real. I have never really deeply thought about the existence of this particular law, but it seems real now. It is really kind of a miracle that I am where I am right now.

Throughout the years, I have spent quite a few hours literally stalking Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and El Captain on the National Park Service's website. I knew which trails I wanted to hike, which of my many weaknesses I planned to beat on them. I knew this even at the time when there hasn't been even the smallest clue that I could ever find myself driving around Tunnel View and trying to control my shaky breath and the urge to just get out of the car and cry like a child, thanking to whatever force helped me to get here.

But there I was, in this quite a strange state of mind, admiring the beauty of something I was never meant to see with my own eyes, according to the vast majority of people I used to be surrounded back in Czech by.

After a slow descent into the Valley and registration, before I started getting settled, I just walked around. Just a few steps this way, and few more this way... The meadow full of yellow and violet flowers. The tiny but unbelievably high Staircase Falls. The shadows of the mountains. The sweet-scented gentle wind playing with my hair. The golden late-afternoon light dancing through the branches of all these old trees. The hind just taking a walk behind my back...

And then, in the evening, listening to the lullaby of the mountains, my consciousness slowly faded away and left me with the most beautiful dreams in months. And I knew that at the moment when I wake up, these dreams weren't just going to fade away. They were a reality.


Abridged. If you are interested in reading the full article, you can find it here.

If you want to read about my adventures in Yosemite which were about to come, you can do so here.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Pavlina Marek

Since I left home in June 2016, my life is one big hot mess. But it's the best adventure of my life and I love it.