Monday, June 25, 2012

25 June - Day 65 - Into Yosemite

From Mile 930.1 below Donohue Pass to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp (Mile 948.7)

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 18.6
Total miles today: 20

What a tough night!

Pan here.

The high alpine winds really blew a gale last night. Our little sheltered hollow behind a rock outcropping and a large Limber Pine really didn't protect us as much as we'd hoped. Cold! And the violence of the wind made the trees really roar ridiculously loud - and pushed and shoved on our sleeping bags, reaching icy fingers down into our bags, trying to peel them off us.

Not good sleep for any of us. We kept a bleary eye out for bears (not that any self-respecting black bear would be hanging out at such high altitudes so early in the year). But such gorgeous stars at 10,500 ft -- and what a view come morning. Peaks! Snow-clobbered summits & crags! Reverberating waterfalls! Wow-wow-wow!

We shivered at each exposure to the frosty air as we snuggled in our sleeping bags waiting for coffee (that I was making). And how good the sun felt when it finally arrived - lighting up peaks and snowy slopes all about.

My ankle, Dionysus's gut muscle, and Sean's shins were better, so we sluggishly broke camp and made for the stair step rock work path and bridges twisting and turning down the valley to where it broadened out to a lush meadow running north with a clear serpentine river down its center.

At Tuolumne Meadows store we resupplied for the hike north, then drank Hefeweizen and ate bacon double cheeseburgers (the burgers only $10.75).

Messy mayo & mustard remnants of lunch while at Tuolumne Meadows. That's Scarecrow behind Pan.

Then we headed out toward Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, north along the PCT. Halfway there, Sean's shoulder strap on his backpack broke! Disaster! But since Sean's mother had supplied us with hefty curved needles, I worked for a couple of hours sitting on the trail sewing the strap back up. (Sure hope my Mama's and my two grandmas' lessons they taught me worked! The end-result looked good (in a Frankenstein way), despite the thread being dental floss!)

Tired, tired as we hiked past crazy huge waterfalls, roaring cataracts, astonishing views of glacier-carved peaks & valleys - and hiked across beautifully built footbridges on lovely and surprisingly well-constructed paths.

When we finally arrived at Glen Aulin, we shoved enough mosquitoes aside to set up camp and cooked a hasty meal next to a campfire other hikers had built.

Done! And boy were we glad to have the mosquito-netted tent back (we hadn't needed it until now and had sent it home early on the PCT).


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