We awoke early Friday July 28th, 2006 as was our custom the entire trip, with a hike to Sentinl Dome on the agenda for the day. Dave has an ever increasing library of hiking books that give very precise and detailed information about hiking specific trails. These are valuable, if you don't misinterpret them! This particuliar hike, less than 2 1/2 miles roundtrip is listed as an easy one and connected with an old service road at one point.
On the trail before bushwacking! Sentinel Dome is in the background.
The instructions made it seem as though you veer off to the left around the dome, scaling the less sloping side. It did NOT say to hike on the old road at all. Being the good wife, I followed Dave to the left, hiking on our own (translation: no trail). After 15 minutes of steep rock, sliding around, being scratched up by bushes etc. I called it quits! I told him I was going back to where we turned off the trail and would meet him there. He informed me that I would be by myself for quite a while because once he got to the top, he'd be there photographing. I said "Okie-dokie!" I was tired of bushwacking and the thought of more of the same getting to the top of Sentinel Dome just didn't appeal to me!!
I left him, got back to the trail and decided to go up the road a little ways to see what kind of view lie ahead. As I began to hike, I saw that the road, as it went up the hill, would top out and hopefully give me some kind of a nice photo op. When I reached the top I realized that I was on the correct trail and not my trail-blazing, bush-whacking husband! Twenty minutes after leaving Dave I was standing on top of Sentinel Dome! Where he was was anyone's clue!
I hiked all over the top, looking down over the edges for him, yelling his name. Nothing! I went back to where I had left my camelbak and relaxed for 15 minutes with my water and granola bar. I repeated my earlier wandering, looking and yelling his name. Still nothing! After 30 minutes, I began to get concerned. I wondered if he had fallen and possibly hurt himself.
The views from the top of Sentinal Dome give a 360 degree view of Yosemite. It's absolutely amazing!
To the left is Half Dome and the waterfalls are Nevada Falls and below it, Vernal Falls.
From the top you can see Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls.
On top of the dome, there was a lone, twisted, dead Jeffrey Pine tree that was photographed famously for years, even Ansel Adams had made this hike to photograph the tree. The Jeffrey Pine Tree had died from drought in 1977 despite attempts by volunteers to save it by hauling buckets of water to the top of the dome. It finally fell in 2003 after a series of severe storms.
During my stay, numerous people came and went but still no sign of Dave. I wondered if he had called it quits and was waiting for me where we said we'd meet? As a group of Boy Scouts made their departure, I asked one of the Dad's if he, "saw a bald guy in a green Cabela's cap, black shorts and a green shirt named Dave, tell him his wife Connie is waiting for him at the top of the dome".
About 20 minutes later, my tired, scratched up warrior reached the top of the Dome! He had actually caught a glimpse of me during my 2nd attempt to try and find him. He realized that the road must have been the correct trail after all even though the book did NOT tell us to stay on the road. Although I had been there almost an hour, we stayed for another half hour so Dave could get his pictures.
Taking a break by the famous Jeffrey Pine.
Dave with Half Dome and Nevada Falls.
We hiked back to the trailhead, enjoying an opportunity to stick our feet in Sentinel Creek, talking about our adventure and all of the wondrous sights we had seen!