It started with a text message, then a scheduled Facetime meeting with Will Leer and Aisha Praught. “Do you and Nick want to go camping in Yosemite?”. Dates were chosen, groceries were bought and our first shipment of Run Gum had just arrived. So Nick and I packed Nicks truck with camping gear, cameras and Run Gum and decided to put the product to the test on our adventure to Yosemite.
Yosemite is roughly 620 miles from Eugene Oregon and Nick and I leaned on Run Gum to get us through the the hard parts of the 10 hour drive. We met Will and Aisha, Garrett Heath and Jackie Rowley (two new additions to the group) at the campsite for dinner, stayed up too late catching up with old friends around the fire place and put together our plan to hike up Half Dome the next morning.
Hiking Half Dome is hard. I have greatly underestimated every hiking adventure I have been on this summer and Half Dome was no different. What made this hike difficult was the distance, an 18 mile round trip from the trailhead to the summit, the 85 degree heat didn’t make it any easier. After hiking most of the morning we decided to take a break, rest and fuel. I was excited for Will, Aisha, Garrett and Jackie to try the product, especially with fatigue setting in and the hardest part of the hike still to come, I felt this was as good a time as any to introduce the group to Run Gum for the first time. We all sat in awe of the views, chewed and then pressed on. The final 2% of the hike is the hardest and the most dangerous part of the climb, its basically 400m’s straight up the side of a vertical granite dome. A crowd had formed, sifting through a pile of used gardening gloves at the base of what I called “the stairway to heaven”: metal cables and a few wooden boards, built into the granite and designed to make the climb possible without technical climbing gear. ( if you plan on summiting Half Dome you need a permit to use the cable ladder, so apply before your trip) Having the mental energy to climb straight up after a 9 mile hike is difficult and this is where I really felt the Run Gum excelled giving me the mental focus to make every foot placement count. After successfully navigating the crowd on the cable ladder we crested the dome, took off our shoes, layed on the warm granite, ate turkey sandwiches, stared down at the valley beneath and soaked in the warm California sun.
My favorite part of the Half Dome hike, other than the summit was cliff jumping and swimming in the deep pool below Vernal Falls. Due to the drought in California the waterfall had slowed down to nothing more than a mist and was throwing rainbows into the sky over our heads as we swam. The water was cold and refreshing and served as our shower for the day capping off a once in a life time hike.
Started with a lazy morning and a big breakfast. Since we over did the “celebrating” around the campfire the night before and with no structured plans for the day we took our time getting down into the valley. We parked at the bottom of El Cap and did some hiking and rock climbing before lunch. After lunch we drove around the valley looking for a place to swim, we found a deep pool in the creek that runs through the valley and decided to check it out. The water was warmer than Vernal falls and was surrounded by giant rocks, we spread our tired bodies out over the rocks and soaked in the last adventure of the summer. In the late afternoon Nick, Will and Aisha wanted to check out some of the trails so they went on a shakeout run as the last rays of sun lit up the surrounding granite slabs, the perfect end to a long day of exploring.
We only had two full days to spend in the Yosemite Valley and with our endless curiosity to explore and see as much as possible we really put Run Gum to the test. I felt Run Gum performed well and helped me get through the natural lulls the body experiences when being active for so long, plus it is lightweight and easy to carry so the gum was is readily available. It was our entire groups first trip to Yosemite and it was the perfect place to introduce the product Nick and I are so proud of to our friends for the first time. Yosemite is a magical place and Run Gum allowed us to see as much as we could with the time that we had.
Until the next adventure.