This week we’re traveling all the way back to 2013! This was the year I graduated from vet school and started my internship in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s also the year I fell in love with the amazing old Kentucky farmhouses.
Jordan and I planned to take a little time off between my graduation and beginning my internship in Lexington. We packed up and made the trek from Texas to Kentucky with two cats, two dogs, and a horse, combining households at the same time. We were just poor college students so there wasn’t much to combine, but it was a big change all the same.
After dropping everyone off in Lexington, we immediately got back on the road and headed out to Yosemite.
We drove straight through, stopping at only a few truck stops and rest stops to catch some sleep when we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer.
As per our usual trip, we had planned out our hikes well in advance. Jordan actually planned this trip, which was a backpacking excursion for four nights.
We arrived in Yosemite Valley bright and early and headed out on the High Sierra Loop Trail. The first day we hiked up the Mist Trail to the top of the Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls, with our first planned campsite at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. The hike was only 4.3 miles but the climb up the Mist Trail was tough, not only because of the elevation but also because the steps were slippery.
Morning two dawned bright and early. We are always early to bed and early to rise when we’re hitting the trail.
The weather was a little overcast, but we saw some amazing views and made it to our destination, at Merced Lake. This leg of the hike was about 8.8 miles, but had less severe elevation gain and we made good time.
While camping at Little Yosemite Valley on our first night, we met some hikers heading back down the trail. They let us know that the upper trails were under snow, so we adapted our plan a little bit to just go up to the snow line and then back down, since we didn’t have snow equipment with us.
We left our site set up, and just took a day pack for our hike to the snow line. It was about 5 miles each direction for a total day hike of about 10 miles.
After having lunch at the highest elevation that we were willing to go, we headed back down the trail. Jordan had me walk out on a ledge to take a photo, and then ran back to root around in one of our bags. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing until he ran back over with a ring box, and shocked me with a mountain-side proposal.
I was completely surprised. (And we just celebrated our 7th anniversary last fall!)
We headed back down to our Merced Lake campsite for the evening.
Originally we had planned to spend a fourth night at Little Yosemite Valley, but we were feeling pretty good hiking downhill, and ended up doing the full 13.1 back out on the fourth day.
We had a really fun time on our first ever backpacking trip together, and of course the proposal was a huge surprise. Jordan had then planned another surprise by taking me to San Francisco for a few days after backpacking.
The first morning in San Francisco we were up bright and early again, and stumbled onto Mama’s, a small, yet well-known breakfast place. There was already a line out the door when we arrived at this hole in the wall, but we were able to snag an early spot for a delicious breakfast.
After breakfast we wandered the city, enjoying the sights.
We especially loved seeing the sea lions sunning themselves on the piers.
All in all, it was a really fun and momentous trip, and it started us off well on our future journeys!