Porcupine Creek trailhead to North Dome - Yosemite National Park
The distance between the trailhead to North Dome was only 4 miles and some change- majority of the trail was mostly flat or a slight decline, but nothing in comparison to the days prior.
The trail on the way in was leisurely. After quite a few days of serrriously having to beat feet, it was nice to just stroll the trail and enjoy the beautiful surroundings without having to be too focused on our footing.
We approached North Dome, where we planned to set up camp for the night- & Half Dome was looking at us...
r i g h t. t h e r e.
The most unbelievable sight of my life.
Picture a “rolling hills” type scene... but with HUGE granite hills. From the top of the first “hill” (understatement- but for the sake of visualization), we could see Half Dome front and center. There were a few previously established “sites”- (i.e., flat ground with fire pits built nearby)- but due to the fact that the hike genuinely was quick and painless- while Cory took some photos, I wandered a bit to see what our options were for the night.
I went to the south side of the peak we were on (which we initially thought WAS North Dome- but we’re not 100% sure that the particular peak we were on was technically North Dome, although it was the highest of the peaks). Just over the ridge- the “rolling hills” effect took place, I looked down the mountain into a little valley that flattened out slightly- and staring back at me was a downed tree; incredibly large and gnarly looking. I wandered down the side of the peak (slowly— lots of loose rock) to check it out.
All of the bark had come off since it had fallen so the surface was merely white, dry, beautiful wood. The roots were exposed and reaching in all directions. It was propping itself up with its branches, standing firmly on the granite ground beneath them. There was a fire pit built by previous explorers, nestled in by the tree. There was a large boulder and a couple smaller pines, but other than that, the valley was massive, flat(ish), and vast. as. hell. (**Description continued in comments below** ⬇️)