Scent is the strongest memory triggering sense, but as I left Oakhurst in my rearview mirror and headed back to camp, I hung my hand out the window and the cool evening air poured in through my windows, brushing across my face, while the sun cast it’s coral pink rays on the granite faces of the eastward mountain faces. Immediately I was transported back in time to numerous evenings spent in Yosemite sitting around campfires and lakes watching the exact same spectacle. I remember the taste of cheap ramen mixed with canned tuna and fresh spring water. Its palate a delicacy when one is a three day hike away from civilization. I remember the sound of creeks blending with the rustling of leaves, and the way it feels to hold snow in your hands, despite it being the middle of July.
But what I remember most about my times in Yosemite are the evenings spent sitting around fires trading stories and wisdom with my dad, the early mornings rising with the sun and quietly chewing our oatmeal, as if we were afraid to break the silence, and the late nights lying in our tent howling with laughter, not giving a thought about what was going on back in “civilization”.
Those are quality memories. Memories worth saving. Memories that I’m glad get triggered by mountain air, setting suns, and hanging my hand out the window.