I sat on a rock, breathing heavily, and thought I couldnt go on any further, and then I saw this girl, chubby with her stomach practically hanging out, treading up the hill, and she wasnt even breaking a sweat. I felt ashamed. The trail to Half Dome seemed so much longer and steeper and harder this time. I remember it being a very long hike, with switchbacks that never end but I did it twice before so I didnt think I couldnt make it. I didnt understand what all the fuzz was about, getting up so early (we had to get up at 4am) to hit the trail, until we got to the base of the dome and heard that was at least an hour wait at the cables. I dont remember having to wait at all. I dont remember having to use the cables to go up either. But there it was, Tomasso giving up and heading back down and we waited for D, M and E to return from the top of the dome. On our way back, in Little Yosemite Valley, the rain began to fall and I looked up. There were still people at the cables. I was hoping D, M and E made it back down safely. It was very hot and it was thundering. I was never so glad to see the trailhead. Coming down the John Muir trail was a good choice as I've never hiked that trail before (had always taken the Misty trail) and got to see the Nevada Falls from the opposite side, but the trail was long and steep and it hurt my toes. Back at the refugee camp, all I could do was to drag my feet. My big toes were bruised and swollen. The next morning we discovered yesterday's lightning ignited several fires in the valley and made the day smoky and hazy.
It's been many years since the Hippo's been to Yosemite. The drive was still as boring as always, el Capitan still stood there as vigilant and upright and enormous and imposing as always. When we arrived at Curry Village, the late afternoon sunlight hitting the sheer face of Half Dome stunned us. It was a glorious view. It never looked so good and inviting. And the refugee camp experience with the canvas tents was kinda fun but I really dont care to do it again. Too many rowdy kids running around everywhere, too noisy to sleep at night. The drive on Tioga Pass and Tuolomne Meadow was gorgeous as always. We had our picnic dinner by Tanaya Lake and we almost had the whole beach to ourselves. The sun setting gave brilliant colors to everywhere and the water was blue and blue. The cool wind blown from the lake was refreshing and soothing. The fried chicken I brought was surprisingly tasty, and beer cheese and garlic+herb crackers were a fantastic complement to the view. (the chicken was really really good). Amelia made a delicious orzo salad. Gosh, I really enjoyed that picnic dinner. Good food, fantastic location, awesome companions. On Sunday, we did a tailgate picnic on the roadside since we couldnt find any picnic area at Glacier Point. Amelia made a fruit salad with yogurt using all the remaining fruit that we brought. It was delicious. The Raclete that I brought was another hit. We cooked sausages and I tried my ovenless camp food. You pour water on the magnesium plate that came with the package and it immediately sizzled. the steam was hotter than the water D was boiling. Quite an experience. When we got back, we had Chinese food in Milpitas, very yummy: lamb in hot pot with tofu skin, salty fish and chicken with tofu in hot pot, stir-fry lotus and green beans with dry shrimps.
I had good and bad moments on this trip. And always and constantly I thought of Greg. Fate had it that I'd miss his memorial service. We had to change dates for this trip. As if somehow it wasnt meant for me to attend his service, and would leave me forever wondering. But the real question was: would I have attended if I were able to?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:39 PM
From all the people that I know who took his classes, they all loved him as a teacher. From the teachers that I know who knew and worked with him, they all respected him as man and colleague. He was my mentor, who inspired me to get my masters in education, who opened my world to Flash, and who showed me what a teacher was really about. He didnt know but he was that part of my life that got me where I am right now, doing what I'm doing right now to make a living, a chapter in my life. From Mangonut, I've learned he passed away. Suddenly. A great lost to his students, a great lost to the college where he was teaching. A great lost to this world that is so hungry for real teachers, teachers who cared, teachers who open the world for his students. He answered my questions and helped me learn Flash when I wasnt even his student. He wrote me the script that 'rule them all'. His passion for Flash became my passion for Flash. His passion for teaching became my passion for teacher. And through it all, I've never met him f2f. And I've dedicated my Sicily's movie to him. Something I've never ever done before. Beloved most dear Greg, in your eternal rest, you know you've touched your students hearts and we mourn you and miss you immensely, deeper than words can ever express.