Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 4: Tuolumne, Lyell Canyon And A BIG Scare

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Upper Cathedral Lake (mile 24.5) to Lyell Forks Footbridge (mile 41.6).

Today's miles: 17.1
Trip miles: 41.6

Today was an awesome day! I woke up at 5:45 am and was on the trail by 7. Sunrise at Upper Cat. Lake was beautiful as the mountains surrounding the lake were first to be kissed by the sun.

I needed water but decided to walk to the stream down the trail about a half a mile as I didn't want to drink murky water from the lake again.

Just before I arrived at the stream, I met a volunteer backcountry ranger. We chatted for a few minutes, he checked my wilderness permit and we went our separate ways. I spent a relaxing hour and a half at the stream relaxing, chatting up passing hikers, drinking water and eating my breakfast cereal before I forced myself to get moving again.

This morning was another picturesque start to the day with no clouds in the sky as I walked highway 120 to the post office. I decided to road walk because the views of Lembert Dome and Tuolumne Meadows are spectacular!

I arrived at the P.O. at 9:50 am, where I had my first resupply package waiting for me. I also had to toss the used t.p., charge my phone and my camera, and buy a new spork.

While sorting through my resupply, I met Mike from The Trek Project. He, along with Brian and Dave are hiking the JMT in 30 days and filming the entire trail, focusing on time lapses. Good luck with the project boys!

While waiting for my phone to charge, I enjoyed a Golden Trout Pilsner from Mammoth Brewing Company. Buzzin after just one beer and still waiting for my camera to charge, I went back into the store to check out their snacks. I bought and devoured a bag of Lundberg rice chips (6 servings worth). I was in a happy place, but ready to escape the hustle and bustle of Tuolumne.

But I couldn't leave yet as I still had to charge my cell phone. While doing so, I ran into the man hiking the JMT with his wife and daughter I met yesterday. We chatted for a few minutes and he informed me they are from Boston. So great to have people from all over the U.S. and around the world to share the trail with.

A couple outside the store had the same JMT atlas as me, so I approached them and inquired about their trip. John and Lisa - a.k.a. Two Of A Kind - who also happen to be Appalachian Trail alum - are hiking the JMT in 22 days. So great.

As much as I love hanging out and chatting with my fellow hikers and the day visitors, it was 1 p.m. before I knew it. I had to leave, even if my electronics weren't fully charged. At 1:15 pm, I finally left the Tuolumne vortex.

Hiking through Lyell Canyon was fantastic. It took me 5 hours to walk 8 miles because Lyell Canyon is truly beautiful.

Just when I thought I was ready to put in a few consistent miles of hiking, I stumbled upon the most amazing place to eat dinner and enjoy a soak.

As I sat there, soaking in the view and chowing down, I spotted a doe and her fawn 100 yards up the trail.

I spent another hour and a half eating dinner and soaking my feet in the very cold river. Very relaxing.

With more food in my belly and my feet refreshed, I felt great, so I pushed ahead a few more miles passed my planned campsite at Lyell Fork Base Camp. Bad idea!

The dark clouds and thunder that had been teased us with rain all day but only produced a few sprinkles, were gathering and growing darker with every passing minute.

While the cloud cover provided cooler air and shade, a nice respite from the wickedly hot temperatures of the first three days, I could sense trouble ahead.

As I made my way up the exposed switchbacks to my new campsite, lightning struck and was instantly followed by ferocious thunder. The lightning scared the crap out of me as it seemed to have struck just above me, forcing me to run up the switchbacks and back into the cover of trees a.s.a.p.

looking back at beautiful Lyell Canyon from the exposed switchbacks
Just as I got to camp, the downpour that I had been waiting for all afternoon finally arrived. I quickly put up my tent and hunkered down.

I had never set my tent up in the rain before and always told myself that I'd figure it out when I needed to.

Well, I found out that I had done a good job seam sealing the tent. But I had never figured out how to erect the tent for the beak to be taught and prevent rain from coming in from the front of the tent. So I got my butt out into the pouring rain and rigged it to work for now.

Today was a great day. I got a little wet, and so too did the inside of my tent. I was hoping for things like this to happen on this trek to force me to use my brain to problem solve without becoming agitated and worse.

Today, I passed with flying colors :)
“There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls. Food and drink is not all. There is the spiritual. In some it is only a germ, of course, but the germ will grow.” ~John Muir

posted from Bloggeroid

1 comment:

  1. Random fact!!!
    The same spot where you ate at tuolumne meadows(near the river) was close to the same spot where my sister, her friend, and I saw a chick go skinny dipping in the river! lol
    Fun times haha