New Year's In Yosemite

(2/9/09) Written by Joe D.

Photo Credits: Jeremy Marble and Joe D.

Perfect Pace was going to have a couple of firsts including; the first snow trip, first snowshoe, first xcountry ski, and first trip to Coalinga. I was feeling a little pressure but knew we had a great itinerary.

The first couple of nights we stayed at the beautiful cottages at Tenya lodge which sat in the woods right outside of Yosemite. The next day we headed to Badger Pass for our 21 mile journey on cross-country skis. For many it was their first time. Mike my co-leader looked a little shaky at first but quickly he was like a polar bear gliding in the arctic. To make it to the end was challenging and 5 out of 8 did. They were rewarded with a stunning views of Half Dome covered in snow. Half Dome had a cloud rising up the side and a roaring waterfall below.

As we started to head back a major snow storm started and it was picturesque but it did make coming back more challenging and the fresh snow started sticking to our skis. Chris and Jeremy were the first back. After it was all over many were exhausted but invigorated. For one; Ernesto, it was the first time in a snow storm and he loved it.

That night we decided to stay in our cottages and eat pizza while the fired roared. The next day we rented snowshoes and hiked in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. It was a beautiful sunny day and we snow shoed about 8 miles among the giant trees. The groove was spectacular with the contrast of the snow on the ground and the giant trees reaching up into the big blue sky. Once again people loved the new experience and even the self-confessed non-snow person, Jeff, was obviously enjoying the adventure.

We then headed to Coalinga. At the restaurant the computers went down and the service was very slow. Our hungry group wasn't having it. We ended up walking to Denny to fill our tummies. That night in Coalinga we ate and drank inside my apartment. Most of us played the game Scruples and with Andy's antics a fun time was had by all. The next morning was a fabulous breakfast cooked by Kevin and then we all went on a local hike. It was a fast paced hike and everyone made it to the top. Many people were surprised that such a great hike was hidden outside the town of Coalinga. Once again we all felt invigorated with now 3 different days of challenges all accomplished. I gave a 2 minute tour of Coalinga and we then ate an authentic Mexican restaurant in town. Hugs were given as we said goodbye until the next time.