Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 22: June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012.

Day: 22     Daily Miles: 42.5    Total Miles: 938    Hours Hiking: 16   6:30am-10:40pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 15th Audio File Here

Day 22
Just a small taste of the downed trees around Mammoth.

June 15, Day 22. Lets see. I made it to mile 938. About 4 miles outside of Tuolumne Meadows. Total day was 41.5 miles. I stopped at point 0298344E 4191761N. I stopped about 4 miles out because I didn't want to have to deal with trying to find camping at like, a spot to camp in "civilization" at somewhere around oohh 12am if I had kept going. I stopped about 10:40pm and found a nice little spot nestled in the big giant valley in some trees. And yeah, it was a good night. I knew I could sleep in because the store doesn't open until 8am, the post office isn't until 9am. So technically I may be able to get my package around 8am, but I might have to wait until 9am. So I slept in until about 6:30am and started walking at 7 to get there around 8am. Anyways, yesterday, I started off right around, a little bit before the Duck Lake Pass/Trail area. I plodded my way past mile 900 and made it down past Reds Meadows. The blow downs there, they weren't kidding. WOW. It's just like a bomb went off and trees just laid down. They've at least have cleared ohh 95% of all the blow-
downs. So there are a few little reroutes, places where a tree will fall more or less parallel to the trail where you have to dodge it. There's actually one section for about 100 yards, they just made a new trail because it's just not worth trying to go through the masses of trees stacked on top of one another. I passed two trail crews. The first trail crew was in the wilderness area using the cross cut saw, they were SCA. Then passed Reds Meadows, right around Devils Postpile, I passed another...actually I passed 3 trail crews yesterday. The second one was PCTA it looked like. They were making the trail into a highway, versus just the rough-hewn path that some of it was. So like raking and completely widening the trail to more than the couple feet that they hacked through with the chainsaws. So I wandered around through Agnew Meadows, which wasn't a problem. I had though there might be a detour there because of {tree removal} equipment or whatever. No problems whatsoever. I got rid of a bunch of trash there which was awesome. Then headed up the hill across from 
Descending Donohue Pass - HDR.
the JMT up the valley. Then uhh, right around that time the thunderstorms were growing pretty well. I got into clouds which was great because I was on a climb and they, the thunderstorms, lasted actually until the evening about 6 or 7 o'clock or so, keeping the sky pretty cloudy. It started sprinkling as I got up to about Thousand Island Lake, a little bit before that, but it never really turned into anything major, which I'm really happy about. I didn't have to get my rain gear out. The climb just kinda kept going and going. It wasn't super steep, which was awesome. Ya know a few parts make you get out of breath because you are actually going up to 11,000ft. But made it to the top with great sunlight, great shadows. The evening is the best time to hit a pass, so I took a bunch of photos. Then I came down the back side, into first little upper meadow. I met three other thru-hikers from England. They're going to resupply tomorrow too, but they stopped way back there. I just kept plodding along, I knew I had to get down to the valley floor before it got dark to make my life much easier. I barely made it. Right as it got pretty much dark, I hit the long like 6 or 7 miles of more or less 
Climbing up to Donohue Pass.
just flat walking through a big open green valley next to a creek right at the tree line. So that's where I kind of camped out. I'm actually walking to Tuolumne right now. I'm going to make a few phone calls, I'm gonna get a bunch of stuff to eat, because it's all I've been dreaming about really for the last 6 days. That's how long it took me to get through the Sierras. I went basically 242 mile to Tuolumne, so I call it 242 divided by 6 I believe, is what I just did, which would be an average of 40 miles a day. The next few days, well actually up until Echo Lake, I think are gonna be some of my least favorite {miles}. I don't know. I just don't have a good..{memory of them}... I don't remember them as being fun. Lets put it that way. There are a few places like Sonora Pass, where I've been {before while not hiking} and like, there's a climb there but otherwise I don't remember a whole lot and I don't remember them being particularly good. I think in 2009 I didn't feel good one of the days and so that just adds to the memory. But we'll see. I feel like once I get to Echo Lake, life gets easier, you're not nearly at as high of elevation and I don't know, it just feels like home. {I'm grew up 1.5 hours from Donner Pass}.
Donohue Pass at sunset, looking north towards Tuolumne Meadowns.