I thought I’d have escaped the august beauty of this big wall paradise by now. It has proven, to my surprise, to be quite difficult. Motivation, it seems, is much like potential energy – it is directly proportionate to how high up you are. The four thousand feet in elevation that I gave up in my descent into this pit five days ago was tantamount to sliding the banister all the way to the bottom of the motivational staircase. I have, quite literally, hit rock bottom. It is all up hill from here. 4,000 feet back up to a snowy, deserted trail with more on my back than I’ve yet carried to venture into a wilderness with little opportunity to resupply. I am excited to do it, but the grandeur here is not to be missed. We slept in, the tent pitched in our acquaintances’ yard rather than any of the numerous, expensive and smoky campgrounds. Rob had gone to work and Dan was off so I crossed the street to the store for a moment and came back with the ingredients to make the three of us omelets with sausage, cheese and spinach, and a bit of leftover steak. We borrowed two of Dan’s beach cruisers, one with a basket, and rode to the Village. We went to the post office and lolled in the Ansel Adams gallery showing each other note cards of frozen aspens and ever-crumbling monoliths. We rode the three miles of sandy think westward to the foot of El Capitan and watched tiny people hang off the side of that immutable mass of stone while we paunched ourselves on an overstuffed mass of Italian cold cuts, vegetables and bread. Girly shared a bar of sea salted dark chocolate with me as headlights clicked on 3,400 feet above and the gray stone reflected a soft pink. Then she threw a tantrum on the way back because she didn’t like the rough trail and sand.