A few weeks ago I celebrated a one year anniversary by going for a run on one of my favorite Yosemite trails. It has been a whole year since I was crushed by a giant boulder midway up LeConte gully, rescued by the heroic Yosemite Search and Rescue team, and put back together at Stanford Hospital, a whole year since I broke my back so badly that the doctors could hardly believe that I wasn’t paralyzed, and since my husband, who witnessed the whole thing, was surprised I was alive at all. I’m getting a lot better, and I don’t want to dig through all the gory details, but I it was a BIG DEAL, and I had a lot to be grateful for as I ran along that day.
It was the perfect day and a perfect place for thinking grateful sorts of thoughts. The air was cool and crisp, but not cold, and I crunched noisily through golden leaves that had accumulated on the trail, sometimes giving a big kick to send them flying into the air, just for the fun of it. Scott’s Trail, the name we gave it after our friend, Scott, came running down it several years ago, isn’t a flashy, popular trail crowded with people who want to see Yosemite, and that is just why I like it. Yosemite might be thundering waterfalls, and soaring, white granite cliffs, but it is also these quiet, sleepy trails through the woods. I love being able to live here in the park, and having the time to explore those out-of-the-way places too. When I passed a couple not-so-small piles of scat with a lot of fur in it, I made a note to myself not to celebrate my anniversary by getting eaten by a mountain lion, glanced up into the trees and kept moving along. Good news, I haven’t been eaten. Bad news, I still haven’t seen a mountain lion.