My brother Brian’s birthday! I, of course, forgot to send him a message before I left, and now there’s no way to call. But I am celebrating his birth anyway.
It was a long night. I haven’t figured out my new pad. It’s very narrow, and if it’s too full, it bucks me off. So last night I erred in the direction of too little air. Tonight, I’m going to get it perfect. I hope. It has shaved a number of ounces off my base weight and created more room in my pack, and I do want to love it. I woke—or rather, decided to finally get up—at 6:00 AM. I puttered around camp and visited the river nearby to watch the sun expand over the valley. Beautiful.
B is tired today. Me, too, but I am also invigorated just being up here. Lack of sleep doesn’t seem like that much of a problem once I’m up and moving around. Poor Barbara has a blister on the bottom of the ball of her foot, which is very painful. We treated it: drained it and applied antibiotics and moleskin, but today it’s back. She waited too long. We discussed hiking out from Glen Aulin, if it is continuing to cause her pain. I’m okay with that. We need to do what we have to do to take care of each other.
It was a long hot walk today. We only saw three people and two rattlesnakes on the trail all day. The climb up over the Muir Gorge cutoff nearly killed my spirit, and I wondered why I do this. For fun?? And maybe I’m too old. I guess I need to hike easier trails in cooler weather—but not too cool.
We stopped and swam twice in the Tuolumne, and it was fantastic! The water is cold and bracing, and so refreshing. Every time, it makes all the negative thoughts and tiredness just flee my mind.
We finally made it to our chosen campsite, a nice oak-shaded flat shelf above the river, not far from a lovely swimming hole, only to find that the couple who were at “our” campsite last night beat us to it again! They complimented us on our taste in campsites. There’s room down on the second level for a couple of little tents, so we are staying here.
On one of my many tours of Germany, I recall looking at the Rhine, near the headwaters, and painstakingly creating a sentence in my limited German. Das Wasser is vie flussige jade. Right here, right now, in this late afternoon light, that is what the Tuolumne looks like. Liquid jade.
We swam, rinsed and hung out our sweaty, dusty shirts, pants, socks, sun gloves, gaiters, and underwear, ate our dinner (I didn’t write anything about it and now can’t remember if it was good, bad, or indifferent) by the river perched on perfect chair-shaped rocks and watched a dipper hopping upstream. We are almost directly across from where Cathedral Creek runs into the Tuolumne. You can look across and up at about three waterfalls.
Today was a 9-mile day, pretty-much all uphill, except for the mile or so coming back down to the river from the top of the Muir Gorge cutoff.
No, you’re NOT too old!
August 10th was my wife’s birthday. We got married a week after Aug 10th in 1979.
I got an air mattress too, hard to figger how much to fill it and, my mates said I was noisy ,squirming nylon
For some reason, I don’t seem to make much noise on mine, but sometimes I hear Barbara wriggling around on hers. I guess I don’t move much in my sleep. Lucky.
On the subject of ‘ am I too old for this ‘ Don’t give in to gravity yet !It feels so hard to do the hik- work , but it’s just a tough meditation I have found those ‘ Shotbloks’ energy chew and ‘Nuun’ electrolyte tabs in the Camelbak help me .But I also have looked into ‘ drop’ packing ? Where a packer takes yer stuff a day in and leaves a bear- proof food box. Or, as I learned after humping it over Shepherd’s pass, you can get a Sherpa off the bulletin board at East side sports in Bishop.For. 100 bucks or so you can get your gear a steep day in. Another thing : Alana James from Hotclub of Cowtown was a packer at Rock Creek pack sta. The owner, Craig London looves music.Perhaps you could do a music pack trip or trade some campfire music for a trip ??
I love that Cathedral campsite. We spent a day there exploring all the pools above the falls.. No, you are not too old for this! You just gotta make sure all the hard work gets you to some fantastic spots! But maybe, a few less miles per day would help. The heat definitely makes it harder.
Yeah, I know I’m not too old. The very next day, I was on top of the world. But that was a hard day for me. Nearly broke my spirit walking up in the heat.
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Hydration is key. My then 27 year old son and my 64 yo self and I had to turn back from our attempt to hike Cloud’s Rest when the temperature unexpectedly hit 102 and we realized we didn’t have enough water.
Just how heavy are these packs?
Very light, really. Generally about 25 pounds. Maybe a little more when we start out.
I loved reading this and seeing your beautiful photos, Laurie. No, you are not too old to enjoy, in whatever way your body will let you, the beauty and peace of nature.
Bill and I were lucky to catch your concert last week here in Portland.