Miles hiked: 16.4
Camped at: Tuolumne Backpackers Campground with Tink, Smokey, Wes & Joy
Entering Yosemite wilderness on the top of Donahue Pass had the feeling of import for me early this morning. I had hiked here (mostly!) from Mexico!! I passed many many day hikers and weekenders out enjoying the holiday the closer I got to Tuolumne, all of which looked at my umbrella with wide eyes. The descent into the valley went smoothly, often jumping over streams that turned into waterfalls, and enjoying the pretty scenery and wildflowers, though not the heat. On the mostly flat valley floor, cruising all afternoon got tedious before I turned on the music. I arrived before 3:30 and was so happy to see Tink’s note on the backpacker’s walk in area bulletin board, though not at all pleased to see she is having to get off the trail due to her injuries. I also saw Sunshine and Vibes again before they hitched out for a week away from the trail, and quickly devoured a cheeseburger, fries, and soft serve ice cream at the camp grill. Unfortunately, my resupply box is currently AWOL – I’m hoping it’s at the Valley post office tomorrow, otherwise I will be resupplying at the camp store which may not be a bad thing from my lack of enthusiasm for my food recently. However the box does have my maps for NoCal after Echo Lake so I hope it’s not gone for good. Here’s hoping!
It does feel weird to be planning a day doing tourist stuff by myself, but I just can’t pass up seeing the sights in Yosemite, though I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the tourist crowds. My last zero was in Bishop about 2 weeks ago now, and I’ve been able to feel some discomfort in my knees the past few days which is always a tell with me, so hopefully I’ll walk as little as possible and it will still be relaxing.
I was disappointed to miss Dust Bunny, Pockets and Hugs, who all hiked out today, so I’ll now be 2 days behind them. Oh well, I’ve got to trust things will work out for the best. I was reminded by 2 separate encounters this morning with solo ladies – one by a JMT-er on top of Donahue Pass and the second a young ranger climbing up out of valley how inspiring it can be to other young women that I’m out here doing the PCT by myself. A perspective that I needed to be reminded of!
We had a great campfire (courtesy of Smokey), and conversation tonight with Wes and Joy, 2 section hikers who had wonderful Trails Illustrated maps of the area that I sighed enviously over, I’m such a map geek! amazingly enough all of us here have Big Agnes tents – in fact, mostly Copper Spurs! A BA convention in the woods :).
Gorgeous views on top of Donahue Pass and walking into Tuolumne Meadows: