Day 57 – 6/17/16
923.26 to Tuolumne Meadows 942.50
Total miles: 19.24
I was out at 6:30 last night. I slept so good until about 1 am. The moon is back and it was bright. I found that if I button up the top of my quilt around my neck and then pull the cinch cord and slip down further into the quilt my pillow will stay with me on the pad. It also blocks the moon light. By the time 5 am rolled around I was feeling tired and not wanting to get out of my warm quilt and tent.
We packed up in the just above freezing windy morning and left. My foot was still hurting. I was moving very slowly as we stared to do a small climb over Island Pass. The pass was pretty easy to go over. There was some snow.
After the baby pass we dropped back down a 1,000 feet. My foot was feeling a bit better but going down big steps hurts.
The next pass, Donahue, was a bit higher at 11,000 feet. The approach up to the pass wasn’t bad. The elevation gain was steady and not too steep. Once we got above 10,500 the snow showed up but it was still frozen and fairly easy to walk on. About half a mile from the top 5 Star had to run off and unleash the dark side of the force. Mad Dog made friends with a marmot. Whenever I got close the marmot would run off. When I stepped away the marmot would come back to him. I’m hiking with a Disney Princess or something.
We continued up the fairly easy pass and took a break a quarter mile from the top. 5 Star said he had service. I took out my phone and started uploading yesterday’s pictures. I didn’t have time to make a post since the upload was going slow. We got up and got over the pass.
Going down also wasn’t too bad. There was snow but it was easy to walk across. Every once in awhile it would get steep and the foot prints in the snow would be smooth and I would have to slide down.
We made our way down and then stopped for lunch at 11. My foot was feeling much better. After lunch the elevation was at a very slight decline and I was almost able to maintain my normal 3 mph pace. The trail was wet and muddy a lot of the times and rock hopping to avoid wet feet would give me a twinge of pain on occasion.
I had to stop and hide behind some trees. I was instantly swarmed by mosquitoes. I sprayed myself, including my butt. Damn blood suckers. As I was catching up to 5 Star and Mad Dog I came across a ranger. He asked for my permit and asked if I had a bear can. He knocked on my pack for the can.
I continued on and started seeing more and more backpackers hiking southbound. Since we were getting close to Tuolumne Meadows I wasn’t sure if they were JMT hikers or if they were overnight backpackers. Either way their packs were big and looked very heavy.
The closer we got to Tuolumne Meadows the more day hikers we came across. They were everywhere. Clogging up the trail moving slow. My thru hiker entitlement and superiority complex is definitely manifesting.
We reached the road and there were cars everywhere. Driving down the road and parked on the road. The road took us to the general store/Post Office/grill. We walked up to a table outside the store and dropped our packs. I walked into the store and saw resupply boxes to the side. A guy was stacking and sorting the boxes and said to give him 10 minutes to finish sorting the new boxes. I walked next door and ordered a double cheeseburger and a chocolate frozen yogurt. The burger was pretty good. The yogurt kept giving me mind freezes.
I walk back and pick up my box. I go back outside and start going through my food. It’s only 150ish miles to Lake Tahoe and we have to be there on the 26th to meet my parents. It really would only take 7 days to get there but we would arrive too early. Instead we will take 8 full days and then camp about 5 miles before where we will get picked up. That means we will have to average about 18 miles a day. Easy.
I finish shoving the food I want into my bear can and leave the stuff I don’t in my box for the hiker box. Between the three of us we fill up my box to the point of overflowing. I take the box back into the store and give it to the box sorting guy to put into the hiker box. On the way out I grab a double rich chocolate milk. It was so good. Almost like a milkshake!
I pick up my pack to head to the campground for the night but my pack is super heavy. “What the hell happened?” I say out loud. Another hiker responds “resupply happened.” Ain’t that the truth. Resupplying is not fun. Just means more weight.
We walk down the road to the backpacker campground and get a spot in the back away from everyone hoping that others, especially the nobletts, won’t come to the back and be loud all night around a fire. Unfortunately, after we set up and we’re sitting at the table more people came in and set up near us. All of them making fires. Sigh. Why can’t they just go to sleep? How are they not tired? Once 8 hits I’m ready for bed. As I type this I realize my earplugs are in my pack which is in a bear box. This is bear country and they know people mean food. All food goes in the bear boxes. I put my pack in too since I’m sure it smells of food.
Here’s to hoping the weed circle forgets to put their munchies away and gets a visit from Yogi and Boo Boo.