A really good night’s sleep last night! I immediately noticed that I was stepping more lightly and surely on the rounded stones, going down to the river this morning.
We woke at 6:00, and were packed and on the trail by 7:30, stopping to talk to our neighbors–the same couple who have gravitated to each of our campsites. They are lovely 30/31-year-olds, really into vacationing with backpacks in beautiful places. They hadn’t noticed the grinding holes or rock-lined storage places, but now maybe they will know to look and start seeing the history around them.
B’s foot feels a little better today. We doctored it with moleskin, kept in place with Tenacious Tape. Man, that stuff is sticky!
We swam, or at least submerged ourselves three times today. All beautiful spots. Now that we are closer to Glen Aulin and the famous series of waterfalls, we are seeing more people on the trail, including some larger groups of 4-6 people.
The waterfalls are spectacular, even with so little water in the river. Waterwheel Falls is less than overwhelming at this flow, but still throws out a mighty hump of water.
We arrived at Glen Aulin in the afternoon and rested there for a bit. We had been considering hiking out from there to Tuolumne Meadows because of B’s foot, but she has decided that we should go up to McGee Lake and reassess tomorrow.
After we passed one couple hiking from May Lake, there was nobody on the trail from Glen Aulin up to McGee Lake, and we have the place to ourselves. The lodgepole woods are so very quiet. Not a soul nearby. Ahhh! We walked to the shore of McGee Lake, a good-sized body of water surrounded by trees, with views north to Cold Mountain and over toward Ragged Peak. I had visited Ragged Peak in probably 1969. Haven’t been back since. On that trip, my boyfriend Charles and I took our dog, Noah, off-leash the whole way, which is of course a no-no in Yosemite. But we were free-range hippies and didn’t pay much attention to rules back then. Now, I would probably be pretty unhappy with my younger self if I met her and her dog on the trail. Though I would probably still like that dog a lot…
We ate an early dinner, and now it’s 7:00 PM and B is already in her tent. I just went to mine to avoid the mosquitos, which just started coming out.
Tonight there is a full moon, and the cold light turns the granite to molten silver. It’s otherworldly out here. I watch the moon arc across the sky through the trees.
Today, we covered 9.8 miles. Pretty-much all uphill. We are back up to 8100 feet elevation. I am happily tired, glad to be where I am right here, right now. Good night.
Love these posts! Thank you for taking me along.
I am really enjoying these, Laurie! Such heavenly places to be alive.
Thanks for sharing these wonderful stories. Brought back some fond memories of my time going in the opposite direction, from Tuolumne down to Camp Mather. A spectacular hike in early September.
That’s a lot of downhill, Gerry! But a beautiful time of year up there. Is there are trail along the since of Hetch Hetchy reservoir?
As I recall, we hiked out up to White Wolf and then worked our way down to Camp Mather. I might have the route around here somewhere, but my recollection is of a big mistake. Blow down and fire damaged trail that had my brother-in-law and I climbing over car sized trees and wading through brambles for hours. We should have asked for advise when we planned that final portion of the journey.
Our trip ended at Mather where we met up with our extended family for a long weekend’s stay. Must have been 2004 or so. I recall we had a great time, loved the camp director. There were still chalk lines on the ground from Strawberry.
Thanks for the wonderful photos and commentary. It allows for armchair hiking.
Dear Laurie, Thank you for these wonderful posts. I finished my NOBO JMT hike in Yosemite a few days before your trip (I was lucky to encounter some very special folk on the trail at Muir Trail Ranch). Your music was my constant companion on the trail – I so appreciate it and your evocative writing. I am reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s book and reliving the deep love and spiritual magic of the Sierra.
Congratulations on completing your JMT trip! Did we meet up at MTR?
Yes, that would be me. It was a wonderful piece of trail magic to happen upon you and Tom. 💕 I tried to temper my enthusiasm as i knew you were enjoying some down time.