i just finished packing. it's been a long while since i've loaded my backpack with gear. i had it down to such a science when i went backpacking every single weekend.
soon, i will be backpacking again. in a place i consider "home". it may be a bit odd to consider a national park one's home, but to me, yosemite will always feel like going home. it's been three summers since i lived there. that summer i lived there was life altering in so many ways. to me, yosemite represents freedom, simplicity, exploration and adventure. i long for all of those things, so it is with much glee that i pack to go home.
i will see dear friends i've missed. jenny. zara. who knows who else? secret crushes. the people who live there look out for one another; it's an odd community, but a tightly knit one. though i've been gone for three years, in some ways it will be like i never left. the yosemite hook-up of friends taking care of one another is still going strong.
there are places i've never been, even in the valley. hidden falls. can you believe it? i have less than 24 hours in the valley before we depart on the hiker's bus for our backpacking trip of the grand canyon of the tuolumne, but i plan to wring every last drop out of those precious minutes. jenny promises to take me to hidden falls. i want to see the indian caves again, a place very dear to me because of some special time there with paul. i'd like to go to devil's bathtub, but probably won't. i want to hang on the pizza deck on a saturday night. the river is low this year, and i want to grab the last day of rafting on the merced with beer and friends while lazily meandering the last of the trickle.
my hands smell like the mosquito repellent i packed an hour ago. the smell may be noxious to some, but for me, it's a reminder of home.