The cabin resembles a sauna with its pine wood walls and ceilings.
But it's cosy, and well maintained, and I would take a small cabin in the wilderness over camping or glamping any day.
We wake up refreshed and excited and I begin the day with a pour-over coffee. The cabin offers instructions on how to use their pour over kettle, and I give them extra points to that. (Make a note Airbnb hosts!) Caffeinated, I make my way to the Subaru and we head straight to a hike to a waterfall.
Thing about spontaneous road trips - is that there's not much time to research properly, so mishaps can happen, wrong turns can be made, and trails can be reached to from the backside. The BACKside can be a pleasant surprise, sure, but when it includes hundreds of burnt, cut or fallen trees, it becomes... the BADside.
But where there is a sign of death, there is also always a sign of life, and we see countless of new bushes, plants and flowers growing where they normally wouldn't because of the shaded towering trees. Nestled on one such plant, is a chocolate brown and yellow butterfly. A BIG one, one that is so gorgeous and big - it must be on its last day on earth. (I heard once that butterflies are most beautiful right before they die. This may be entirely untrue, but I appreciate the poetic notion of it.) The butterfly knows its being watched, being celebrated. Enjoying the attention, the butterfly rests and lets the subtle wind carry its wings back and forth. We are so close to it now, snapping out photos and videos, whispering to each other so we don't disturb it, and admiring its beauty. It looks like its whole little frail body is breathing in its repetitive movement. The butterfly breathes, and we are watching it simply being. We are transfixed. We are... breathless watching the breathtaking butterfly breathing peacefully on a new plant in a dying forest.
The butterfly flies away, and so do we continue on our journey.
The hike isn't too long and it's isn't too difficult, but it IS too hot which makes it too long and too difficult... But we pull through, reach the waterfall, swim in the water to refresh ourselves, and make our way back to the Subaru with hopefully not too much sunburns.
Soaking in the A/C in the car, we make our way to a local lake we heard about, but we are underwhelmed by it (um, okay - it's a lake. Not ALL lakes are created equal) and cut the visit short.
We go back to our sauna-like cabin with more muscles AND more joint pain, and begin preparing our next day... the goal of this visit, the highlight of this road trip: tomorrow we'll enter YOSEMITE.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman