Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 4, 2011

Start: 923
End: 943

It was a slow wake up this morning. For some reason I have been feeling tired the past couple days. I think it may have something to do with the lack of sleep at the music festival and the skiing that took place the day we left Mammoth.

12 Ounce and I eventually got moving on the trail around 7:30, which was later than the start we planned on getting. The first 6 miles of the day were a slog through soft snow, up and over Donahue Pass. Along the way we also almost went over the "wrong" pass, which it looked like later actually would have been faster and more direct to go over.

Once we got to the top of the pass, the rest of the day's miles were pretty easy. From near the pass we could see the Lyell Fork of the Tuolomne River, which we would be following for the next 10 miles. The first 3 miles we descended through the snow, to patchy snow, and eventually to where the trail was bare. The bare trail lasted a short time until we got to the bottom of the valley where the river was meandering through meadowlands. During the next 9 miles we were treated to a trail that was ankle deep water some of the time, with some small creek crossings thrown in, and patches of ankle deep mud for good measure. As you may imagine, this is the perfect habitat for mosquitos! Fortunately they really weren't that bad and we escaped with a few bites each.

We made it to Tuolomne Meadows around 5:30pm and proceeded to look for somewhere to camp. The folks working here are still trying to get things ready for opening, but nothing is open at this time.

They told us about a place we could camp, so we took them up on their suggestion and set up there. After getting water and cooking dinner, there were some dark clouds rolling in and some thunder in the distance, so we exchanged our cowboy camping setup for a tent. Just as I was getting things cleaned up from dinner, the rain began to fall, so we climbed in and are currently enjoying the comfort of being dry, despite the clouds best efforts. Hopefully the rain doesn't last long!

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