Our plans for day three required a lot of help from everyone in our picturesque campground we called a village. After the daily chores, my wife and I decided we would go on a hike without the baby. Leaving a newborn baby is difficult for any new mom. However, it is absolutely necessary for moms and dads alike to keep their sanity. That’s why I decided for her and forced her to do it. I find it’s similar to the way my dad taught me how to swim. He threw me into the deep end and told me I needed to keep paddling unless I wanted to drown.
The plan was to take a bus to the Happy Isles Trailhead with my brother Josh, cousin Darren, sister Caitlin and her boyfriend Von. Von was the most entertaining on this hike for multiple reasons. The main one being it was his first-time visiting Yosemite. Also, Happy Sherpa plus Happy Isles equals a happy coincidence. I wish I could say the same thing for my oldest brother! I kid, I kid. Back to the plan now. After the bus, we would go up to the top of Vernal Falls also known as the Mist Trail. We would all take a few pictures, help Josh overcome his fear of heights a little more and then head back to camp. Sounds simple enough? And I almost forgot, we only had about a three-hour window. My wife was going to need to either feed the baby and/or pump.
It Takes A Village
The title of this section says it all. Lucky for me, my family or “village” is full of medical professionals. I believe the mixture of nurses and doctors totaled nine all together. Also, we have one of the few babies in the group, so people naturally want to help us. For this specific adventure, I enlisted the help of my parents. They had everything down to a science. I prepared the baby supplies for them before we embarked on our hike. I set up a comfy changing station, showed were we stored the milk and laid out a few extra outfits. Poop explosions are not a joking matter. The great thing about a two-month old is they’re very predictable. They smile, cry, eat, sleep, poop and repeat. Although, ours says “hi” too. She’s advanced. All in all, my parents did fantastic! My wife really had nothing to worry about.
Ready, Set, Go!
The pressure of the clock didn’t set in until we arrived at the bus stop. About this time, we learned the Park was only running three buses for the day. We decided we needed to hike to the trail. It was only about two miles away. Worried about time, my wife was always asking “how much farther,” and “Are we close?” Telling her “about half way” kept her going for a while. Although, she caught on to us. The walk to the beginning of the trail took about 25 minutes. The laughter was definitely flowing from the get go. Getting to the Bridge typically takes about another 25 to 30 minutes when taking lots of breaks. The high elevation is a hard thing on new moms. However, it gave us plenty of opportunities for pictures! Once at the Bridge, we always stop for a quick drink and bathroom break.
Unfortunately, a flood wiped out both the bathroom and fountain. What happens in Yosemite, stays in Yosemite. We will just leave it at that…. The next part of the hike is my all-time favorite. You’re getting splashed by refreshing glacier water cascading over the mountain. Sometimes it’s barely a mist, and sometimes it’s a typhoon. Although, I’m not sure refreshing is the correct word for how cold the water can be. Once at the top, you can go right up to the edge on look over the falls. Don’t worry, there’s a guard rail. Josh only has twenty more feet to cover until he can finally see the view. Going down the mountain takes no time at all. In a hurry, we made it back to our lovely village with five minutes to spare. Even though we cut it close, a seven-mile round trip hike under three-hours isn’t too shabby.