A Travellerspoint blog

April 2012

Woah. We won the lottery.

The lottery to climb the Half Dome cables, that is.


View Roadtrop on mormolyke's travel map.

So, craziness. A couple of months ago, I reported that we were lucky enough to snag a campsite in Yosemite for Memorial Day weekend in the few short minutes before they sold out completely. Shortly afterward, we also entered the Half Dome lottery.

Half Dome is a great big rock. Maybe it's the most famous large rock in America? I come from a land often defined by a very large rock in the center that I've never actually seen in person and certainly never climbed, but for some reason I decided that perhaps we should try climbing Half Dome, despite the fact that it kills people. Like, holy shit, quite a few people. Enough people that I started to have second thoughts, and then figured I should let fortune decide; because Half Dome was becoming (even more) dangerously crowded, the park service recently implemented a lottery system for permits to climb it.

ants-on-the-cables.jpg

So, we put in an application and waited. And on Friday, we were told that our application was granted.

Oh, man.

Since I am a giant scaredycat whose mild vertigo seems to grow a little stronger the older I get (this happens to a lot of people, I've heard), I have ordered us some climbing harnesses and via ferrata sets, and damnit, we are going to use them. I don't care if we look ridiculous. I grew up wearing an oversized orange stackhat while riding my bicycle; I can take it.

I thought at first that we could invite friends along with us, but no, it turns out the permit is for just the two of us.

Wow, I listened to all the lyrics in this song for the first time, and damned if it isn't about this very roadtrop. Obviously, Bill Withers is (a fabulously wealthy) clairvoyant and is speaking directly to me.

Posted by mormolyke 08:28 Archived in USA Tagged yosemite dome planning half Comments (2)

Trial Run 3

In which we are thrown out of a Walmart lot.

sunny 65 °F

Less than four weeks to go now until we leave for the big journey. The end of my semester is approaching, with its requisite deadlines and procrastinated workload, so this may be the last time we do a sleepover test run in the Magnum.

On Saturday, we were in Central PA for our friend Tony's birthday, and since there are far more state parks out that way than there are closer to Philly, we decided we wanted to stay overnight. Unfortunately, all of their campgrounds aren't open until the second weekend of April, so we had to seek other options. Was it finally time to try boondocking in a Walmart parking lot?

Also unfortunate: neither of the York Walmarts allow overnight parking. But we decided to try and see what happened. Worst case scenario, they would just kick us out, right?

They did. After about two hours, at one in the morning, we heard a sharp rap on the window, and a mall cop told us to clear out. ("There's a Holiday Inn around the corner." Uh, yeah, not really the point.) I suppose she was alerted to our unconscious presence, despite the sun shades we use to block the windows, by the rivers of condensation on the panes. We finally found a spot in another strip mall where a few other cars and at least one truck were also boondocking, and slept undisturbed until daybreak.

We spent most of Easter Sunday at Gifford Pinchot. It's quite pretty.

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Other things we tested out:

The Cooking Rig

The Cooking Rig

The MiFi wireless internet. Hooray, I can surf the web on my laptop in a forest.

The MiFi wireless internet. Hooray, I can surf the web on my laptop in a forest.

Posted by mormolyke 18:53 Archived in USA Tagged planning gifford_pinchot Comments (3)

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