Earlier this month I took some time off-the-grid at Yosemite National Park with some girlfriends – Aimee, Lisha, and Shikha. This adventure had been on my calendar since December, but I was having mixed feelings. You may have noticed I have been mostly MIA this year. In January, I joined a nonprofit as Executive Director and have been logging long hours as I ramp up. I have a lot of new responsibilities and I was worried about taking time away from work. Although I felt like I didn’t have the time to get away, I knew I needed to step back and recharge in order to move forward.
Lucky for me, Lisha took over the planning and ensured we were well-prepared for the trip. She rented us a super fun 4×4 Jeep Wrangler from GetAround, a local peer-to-peer car sharing service. Given the record snow this year, we wanted to be prepared with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We lucked out with near perfect weather, but the Jeep was still the way to go. It fit all four of us and our gear comfortably – plus it just made the whole trip more fun!
We arrived to Yosemite after dark and checked into our tent cabin at Half Dome Village. For those of you familiar with the park, this area was previously called Curry Village. You could probably call it glamping, but I think it was the way to go – our cabin had beds, fresh linens, and a heater!
Saturday morning, we woke up early to hike Snow Creek Trail – a strenuous 10-mile hike with 2700 ft gain in elevation. We started out bundled up for a leisurely walk past mirror lake, but once we hit the switchbacks, we stripped off the layers for a relentlessly steep ascent criss-crossing a snow-melted creek with plenty of waterfalls. At the top we were rewarded with fields of snow and incredible views of Half Dome.
I’ve worn and loved Athleta apparel for years, but up until this past year, I had only worn trail running shoes for hiking. Last summer, I took a pair of Ahnu hiking boots to Europe for Tour du Mont Blanc and never looked back – I even wear them in San Francisco when it’s rainy. They’re super lightweight, waterproof, comfortable, and require zero breaking in. The best part is they are designed for women, by women, and come in fun colors.
Once we made it back to camp, we pulled off our boots and got ready for dinner. The only thing better than s’mores after a long day of hiking, are s’mores made from Dandelion Chocolate. I don’t normally eat sugar, but there is no better situation to make an exception than kicking back after a long day of hiking.
Lisha and I dreamed up this trip when I asked her to coffee to talk about shooting some photos for me. I’ve shared on social media about my body image issues and discomfort being in front of a camera. I’ve come a long way from the girl who refused to have a profile photo on Facebook, but I still struggle with this. I’m still self conscious, but I’m growing and learning to be more and more comfortable in my skin.
I am excited to share these photos and video with you because they are evidence of my growth, proof that change is possible, and a celebration of how far I’ve come while embracing where I am today. Thanks for allowing me to share my journey with you.