By: Cees Hoffman
The ﬁrst morning we rolled into The Valley we unloaded the kayaks and hit the trail for Mirror Lake (pets are allowed!). It was high trafﬁc - and people lost their minds when they saw that we were packing a feline friend. People have a hard time getting over a cat on a leash.
We hung out and ate some snacks before we hit the water. When I saw Mirror Lake on the map, I imagined an actual lake with a creek on both ends. But really, it's a spot where the creek just slows down and gets wider. It was beautiful for sure, just not what I had pictured in my mind.
The next day, we hit the trailhead for May Lake as soon as we got breakfast cleaned up. I am convinced that all of the mosquitos in the world decided that they would gather at that very spot to suck us dry. As soon as we got out of the car we were mobbed; we didn't stand a chance. I don't know what was pumping blood faster, the thousand mosquitos with their straws in my skin, or my heart as it tried to move the ever-diminishing supply of blood to my lungs as my body moved to get out of there! In fact, as I write this, over a week later, I just scratched a bite that I am pretty sure I got at that trailhead.
Luckily the skeeters stayed near the trailhead to wait for the next poor fool to leave the safety of his vehicle. The trail up was itchy, but beautiful. We set up a little base camp on a beach next to some rocks and unpacked the kayaks for some fun.
On my May Lake maiden voyage, I came across a group of naked dudes sun bathing on a rock. "How's it hangin' up there?!" I asked. Without missing a beat one of them responded, "Very loose, man. Very loose." I laughed at our semi-inappropriate conversation and paddled back to the girls to give them fair warning. We really wanted to cliff jump off their rock, but decided to wait until the nudies put their clothes back on to venture over with our crew.
The ladies had a good time jumping and I had a good time watching them jump. It's always a treat to see someone take a leap. No matter if the person takes a literal jump off a rock or ﬁguratively leaps into the lake of life, it's enthralling to watch! Its the fact that the person had the guts to go for it that gets me. If you can muster a few seconds of bravery you can do anything!
Also, I made up a new sport called downhill snow kayaking - stay tuned for my ofﬁcial debut in the 2018 Olympics. Madison is always pressuring me to do things I'm scared of. "Do it and you're cool!" she says.
We were pretty wiped out from a day in the sun. Yosemite has a way of helping you feel completely refreshed, but totally exhausted at the same time.