Total Miles: 942.5
Some days, you simply don’t have it and today was one of those days. My legs called in sick to work and that makes the going pretty tough when you hike for a living. Fortunately, only one final pass and 17 miles separated us from Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park.
As the least morning persons of our little band, Gazelle and I are often the last two to hit the trail in the morning so we walked most of the day together after a “lazy” 6:30 start. After climbing up and over Donahue Pass, the trail was blissfully flat for the final 10 miles as it followed Lyell Fork through Lyell Canyon. In no rush to reach the store at Tuolumne Meadows, today was what you might expect more days on the trail to resemble: an hour nap by a bubbling creek, an afternoon foot soak further downstream, and lounging in the creek itself just a mile and a half before Tuolumne Meadows. The relaxed pace and the complete discarding of any sense of time was a welcome change from the usual business of making miles that life on the trail can so easily become.
The Sierra is often referred to as the “Range of Light”, and spending the past 250 miles among its mountains and meadows has granted me a special appreciation for the unique interplay of light and shadow that exists everywhere you cast your gaze here.
A burger, fries, and frosty later, Gazelle and I had reunited with Proton, Beardoh, Sweet Pea, Dreamcatcher, and XC who had taken a day off here to wait for us. Tomorrow brings the promise of pancakes for breakfast and some time spent collecting boxes from the post office before we extract ourselves from National Park madness and head back up the trail, heading ever northward.