Woke up 5.45am, quick air release of my sleeping pad ensured that I wouldn’t go back to bed. Some humidity in the tent, but not too bad.
Breakfast together around 6.30am… we left camp at 7.30am. Benson pass with 10100 feet would be today’s challenge.. coming up from 8500 feet. Made it over the pass without any snow around 11am. But the mosquitoes were really annoying up there.
Lunch at a small creek at mile 968. Cactass checking her air mattress for punctures.
Pitching our tents at mile 973. Campfire… Good night!
Started hiking 9.30am after breakfast at Tuolumne grill. Saw Jinx, TwinkleToes, Josh, …
Breakfast sandwich was tiny. Cinnamon role was ok. Coffee, orange juice, two plums…
Quick stop and tasting at the nearby soda spring.
Hiking on unknown territory again – looking forward to it. My JMT journey in 2016 had split from the PCT here and ended in Yosemite Valley.
We ran into several rangers, on horse back and on foot. We were checked for our permits! First time since on trail! Chitchat with another ranger 20min later… They were escorting a hiker without bear canister out to see a judge… potential fine of 5000USD.
Lunch break at 1pm for two hours on a beautiful meadow, not too many mosquitoes. Tortillas with peanut butter…
Got up with the sun at 6am. Quick breakfast with coffee, a bar and a poptart. The mosquitoes were already annoying, so I dressed with long hiking pants. A deer showed up while I had breakfast. It got pretty close and started eating flowers.
Left camp around 6.45am. Donahue pass was just 3.5 miles and 1500 feet altitude out. Made it to the top at 8.30am. Short break with a cliff bar – enjoying the view. The smoke from the fires near Reds Meadows were clearly visible in the distance.
Descending into Lyell Canyon.
Lunch break at 11am at mile 934.
Came into Tolumne Meadows around 3pm and ran into Panther, pitched my tent next to him. We went down to the shop/grill, had a burger.
Resupply shopping was mediocre… While the small shop had a lot of supplies, there were no dinners like Mountain House, Knorr or even mashed potatoes. So I bought a lot of tortillas, a jar of peanut butter and lots of tuna. Guess my dinners for the next 5 days will be mainly cold. Also no TP to buy… Will have to snatch that from the toilets on the campground I guess…
No sign of Cactass and Tinkle, guess they moved through quickly and are on their way into Yosemite Valley. Saw with Colin at least one familiar face. He was resupplying at the shop but seemed to plan to move on today.
Will enjoy my breakfast tomorrow morning at the grill and move out then.
And guess who showed up in the evening? Cactass and Tinkle returning from their hitchhiking into Yosemite Valley! They quickly did their resupply shopping, then we had dinner with beers in front of the Tuolumne shop and grill.
Breakfast on my last town day at Looney Cafe in Mammoth Lakes. Mammoth Lakes had been in smoke from nearby fires since days.
Waited in the hotel lobby for my package from Amazon playing billiard… Short before 1pm, the same driver from yesterday showed up with my Amazon order! Charged the Plantronics headset, firmware update… And go.
Took the free city bus to The Village, bus to the skilift area, second bus to Agnew Meadows. Heard from hiker friends that they had left the trail soon due to the smoke in the area… Hope it won’t be too bad.
On trail at 2.30pm.
Trail started steep uphill in the smokey air, not so nice, hard to breath.
Hiking without Cactass and Tinkle who had left town a day earlier, I saw some new faces on trail, also Martin aka Panther from Munich.
Used my Katadyn BeFree the first time… Amazing! Love it. Also enjoyed the fresh veggies (mini peppers) I can afford to carry. The resupply only needs to be good for about two days since I will be getting into Tuolumne Meadows then.
Passed Thousand Islands lake – memories from my JMT hike.
Went over Island pass around 6pm.
Camped at Rush Creek at mile 926 about 7pm.
Chatting with Panther over dinner. Mosquitoes are annoying… Going into the tent early.
Leaving the tentsite around 6.30am, we quickly reached the 900 miles marker. That’s 1448 kilometers. It’s unreal. It’s starts to feel possible to really make it to Canada. Even though this is just 33.9% of the complete 2650 miles.
Driven by the expectation to make it to Reds Meadows with it’s restaurant Mule Cafe and by shuttle to Mammoth lakes, we were pushing to make it early enough for a second thorough breakfast… 😉
Will spend two zero days in Mammoth to relax, eat, shower, do laundry and sleep…