We had already extracted much of Yosemite's might on our swing through The Valley last summer. Half Dome, Wawona, the Merced. On this particular day, time on the granite was winding down. We had put up some solid routes, and the last couple kittens were showing off their TR cred. The thing was, Yosemite was throwing curve balls at summer season and it had been raining in the afternoons. Hard.

So Aris gets up and is set to clean Church Bowl Tree, meaning he takes the gear down and finishes the route. And it starts sprinkling. So we pack our mountains of nylon and alloy metal and Clif bars as we cheer Aris on. And it starts raining. We pack faster and cheer less. As we scramble to keep ourselves dry, we see the big guy is close to the top. Usually that's a good thing. But when granite gets wet, you ideally are not depending on the grip it once had while dry. Poor Aris.

And it starts pouring. Like, Mississippi pouring. We're running to the cars, Aris is pulling on the rope, and both parties are thoroughly drenched. As we mercilessly shove our packs into a now swampy van, Aris is fighting mini waterfalls from drowning him as he attempts (successfully) to finish his task. He survives, we're all turning amphibious, and the climbing day is done.

Or is it? Because we hear of a sick overhang that usually stays dry in such weather! So with the help of our longtime hometown friend Bethany (who has an inspirational tale of pursuing dreams and living to the fullest, ask her sometime @bethyrouse) we meet a valley worker, pick him up, and head west. Slowly. Like 3 mph slow. You see, the Merced was a raging hippo of a river, and landslides ahead had shut an essential road down. Potentially the road we needed to continue climbing. Oh, and we also were meeting friends for dinner near Tuolumne soon.

So we can't go climbing (road's closed), we have to drop our friends off back at Yosemite Village (the opposite direction of dinner), but that would make us unfashionably late for dinner given the traffic situation. The best option? Leave 'em on the side of the road! Problem dealt with. As we're pulled over unloading our friends-turned-hitchikers, we see a glorious sight. What ever indie band lives for. Two beautiful women running full speed right at our van! Right up to my window! Holy smokes, this is real! They saw "Lumbercat" scrawled in childish paint on our windows and think we're famous! Of course, it was our friends we were meeting for dinner, who we hadn't seen for a while and didn't recognize right away....

And what a dinner we had! Camp stove quesadillas, a Brazilian singing songs, and a trippy artsy night time photo shoot. Yosemite always provides.

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