Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuolumne Meadows again

I was warm and snug last night. I stayed in bed until a ray of sunlight hit my tent. Then I set everything out to dry. A curious bird investigated my things. I took his picture.

I hiked back to the store at Tuolumne Meadows. Then I walked down to the Visitor Center. I bought a map and investigated my options. There was a lower route through Section I that would take me through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. I thought this might be a better way to wait out the stormy weather. It would be lower and warmer and maybe even drier.

I took the shuttle to Olmstead Point. I sat there for a while trying to decide if I should hike down to Yosemite Valley. I would have to pay at least $8 to return to Tuolumne Meadows. I was not sure I wanted to do this, so I decided to go back to the store and think about it. When I got back to the store, my friend from Santa Barbara, Lenny, was there.

Lenny told me tales of his experience getting through the High Sierra in this weather. He thought he might die a few times. He is one of the first ones to make it through. He did it with only a rain poncho for a shelter and a 40 degree sleeping bag. He was sorting through his food getting ready to continue on. I told him about my map and the lower route I was thinking of taking. He seemed to like the idea. He had had quite enough of the higher passes and needed a break. I told him I wasn't sure I could keep up with him, but I could try hiking with him. We agreed to hike together.

I got my package from the Post Office and squeezed as much as I could into my bear can. About 8 days of food. I hoped I would be able to do this. I felt scared.

While Lenny and I were relaxing at the campground, Chuck, another PCT hiker walked by. I had met Chuck in Mammoth. He had taken the bus to Red's Meadow and hiked northbound from there. He had gotten lost in the snow at Island Pass and had struggled over Donahue and was not happy with the experience at all. I invited him to join Lenny and I on our lower route expedition. He seemed extremely grateful not to have to go it alone and to take a lower route.

Our fates were now sealed.

As I went to bed, it started to rain. The sky opened up and it rained very hard. I stayed warm and dry inside my tent.

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