Friday, August 24, 2012

John Muir Trail: Tuolomne to Mammoth

Wow. We are finally home after visiting family down south. It feels kind of weird. Many things that need to be done, but not quite sure where to start.  We just feel this urge to walk.  LOL.

 Soon, I will go back to ranch blogs, but for now, all is well on the ranch so I will do a few posts on our recent back packing adventure.

 It was a wonderful, inspiring and spiritual walk. Being surrounded by the handiwork of God, without man-made distractions, made it seem holy. We felt a real sense of belonging among the community of hikers we met. Everyone was wonderful.  Seriously.  The trail was nearly spotless. Any trash was quickly picked up and carried out. Hikers helped each other and shared from what they had. People smiled and stopped along the trail for a chat.  No one seemed to judge.  I wish all of life could be like this.

We kept a simple diary of our hike and we thought we would share it here for our own remembrance and for our audience at large. While the John Muir Trail actually starts in Happy Isles of Yosemite Valley, we began our hike 24 miles up the trail at Tuolumne Meadows. We did not get our permit ahead of time, so we were trying for a walk up permit and it easier to get from Tuolumne.

Approximately 8 Miles
Tuolumne Ranger Permit Station to top of Lyell Canyon

 Wonderful first day. First person we met said, "Enjoy you hike" and so far we did! View of glaciers on Donahue pass inspire. Lyell creek and flowers soothe the soul. Met a man in a kilt.
Our son dropped us off at JMT trail head
Nearly flat trail up Lyell Canyon

Lyell Creek and Lupine

Sunset on Donahue pass

Approximately 8 Miles
Lyell Canyon to Rush Creek

Hiked over Donahue Pass at 11,000+ and had no ill effects.   Granite Empire, Glaciers, Fields of Flowers and a marmot greeter.  Got naked twice and took a dip in pure mountain water.  Stopped hiking at 2:30 and took a nap.  Sleeping tonight without rain fly as the flatulence was intolerable last night.
First time of trip at 10,000 Feet

Marmot Greeter

Donahue Pass

One of many types of Indian Paintbrush

Approximately 12 Miles
Rush Creek to Gladys Lake

Met Thomas a Pacific Coast Trail hiker and fellow Christian.  Had a wonderful trailside chat and he gave us much encouragement.  Told me to "be the tortoise", and make hiking a meditation.  He recited Ephesians 2:10, for us to think about for our life's walk.  We prayed and he reminded us that we were truly complete as a couple.  Then met the "clean couple",  Ian and Erika.  They look so neat and tidy compared to us.   They are on a similar hiking schedule, so we should see them again.   Later in the day we were getting water and Mark accidentally gave me untreated water.  Hopefully, I will not suffer any ill effects.  Then, in his distress he dropped and broke our steri-pen.  First little thing that went wrong. We used back up chlorine treatment tabs.  Swam in a couple of lakes and made many new wildflower friends.  Mount Ritter and Mount Banner and the Minaret's marched along on our right hand all day.  What a solid companion they were.

Cool Dip in Garnet Lake

Tiger Lily
Mount Banner reflection in Island Pass Tarn

Thousand Island Lake

 Approximately 8 Miles
 Gladys Lake to Red's Meadow and shuttle to Mammoth Lakes

Fast downhill to Devils Post Pile and Red's Meadow.  My trekking pole cracked.  I had weird vertigo. Went in to Mammoth to replace steri-pen and trekking poles and discovered a chilli and ribs cook-off was taking place.  Score.  Yummy.  We ended up walking an extra 4 or 5 miles all over town.  Spent the night at the Holiday Haus at the suggestion of shuttle driver.  Super deal and we also met some other hikers, Ben and Jessica, who are starting hike in Yosemite tomorrow.  They are fast, so they should soon be passing us!

Deer in River near Red's Meadow

Devil's Post Pile

Close up of rock formation in post pile

 Mammoth Village Rib and Chilli Fest




  1. Great. Naked and flatulence - this was an interesting trip.

    Super pictures - I guess no naked pictures to share.



    Okay, maybe not so much about the flatulence part...


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