By ◆ Juppie on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 @ 3:31 PM

That kind of rhymes, considering the way that Yosemite is pronounced.

I've been wondering for a while now why Yosemite is pronounced the way it is. It's pronounced like "Yo-seh-mi-tee". I think that's rather misleading. On the lost and found sign for the Yosemite trip, Yosemite was misspelled "Yosemity". So wouldn't it make more sense to pronounce the name "Yo-seh-mee-teh"? But I suppose what makes sense isn't necessary how things work out.

While I was at Yosemite, I led a very different lifestyle from what I live at home. I spent much more time outside moving around. I almost always wore multiple layers to keep myself warm (except for the times that I became hot from hiking and skiing). I had to get used to having a heavy backpack on my back (I know you're not supposed to pack a lot, but I brought anything I thought I might need, like extra socks, a rain poncho, and gaiters - I never even used the gaiters), since usually I use a roller backpack. I had to adjust to having little sleep and to constantly having dry skin. (But some of my skin problems weren't as bad at Yosemite. My mom says it was because I took short, cold showers, which is better for your health, not like the warm, long ones I take at home)

And all this exercise was a good thing. It helped me build more strength, and I was surprised at how long I lasted, even if I wasn't a fast hiker. It's weird, but I had a different sort of appetite at Yosemite than I have back home. At home I get hungry quite often and I end up eating too much (better keep me away from the almond crunch!), but at Yosemite I sometimes lose my appetite, while at other times I am just moderately hungry, and don't eat very much, but it's enough. And I had to eat celery, which I never ate back home (it's not too bad, I guess, I always thought it must be terrible since people eat it with PEANUT BUTTER and I'm allergic to that). All this exercise made me lose some weight and made me feel better about myself since I could eat more and know I would burn it off, so I wouldn't have to worry about rationing myself (which I've been doing unsuccessfully, I always end up with too much food in one way or another. Eating is something of comfort, after all).

When I got back home, I realized how little exercise I do in comparison. In Yosemite, we might stop once in a while, but other than that we spend a lot of time standing or walking or climbing up something. At home, I am indoors a lot, sitting down, doing some work that requires me to stare closely at something, rather than getting natural light, which is better for my retina or something like that (I can't say I know the specifics about eyes, so don't ask me). And I actually eat more at home, or at least it feels like that. I wish I could always live the kind of lifestyle I had in Yosemite, being active, and being in the outdoors. That's where we are all supposed to be, but us humans have built walls around ourselves, put roofs over our heads, surrounded ourselves with technology to make our lives easier. In some ways this is good and in others it is quite saddening.

I hope that I never forget the experiences I had at Yosemite. I think it may have been one of the only times I ever really got close to nature. One day, when we were hiking at nighttime, a chaperone told us all to turn off our flashlights, be quiet, and stand still. We looked up at the sky, and it was amazing. The sky was really dark, and it was speckled with beautiful white stars. I have never seen so many stars at one time in my life, because in the town where I live, you can't see so many of them (unless you go out late at night, which I don't; in Yosemite it was only maybe 9 pm when you could see all those stars). Humans have affected the world so much that it becomes harder to see stars, but at least now I know there are still havens, still precious places where you can see night the way it is supposed to be seen.

I'd like to get a telescope. With one, I could take a much closer look at the night skies. I have heard that there are times when you can see other planets, such as Venus, and I want to try that. And there's eclipses, too; I didn't pay all much attention to them in the past. But now I think I'd like to see one sometime.

There are so many marvelous spectacles I have yet to witness in the world. I wonder if I will ever get the chance to see them all. I once heard that there were two people who were hospitalized because of problems with their noses. One had his/her problem fixed, and left the hospital. The other had some sort of terminal illness, so he/she traveled and did things that the other person didn't do (and probably never would). Sometimes you have to realize how little time you really have left on the Earth to make full use of it.

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