Day 87-89 (Glen Aulin Camp to Mammoth Lakes via Devil’s Postpile)
Miles hiked this section: 44
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 907
Groucho says “The problem is that everything in the park is so beautiful that it’s hard to get photos of the endless epic beauty.” Also to describe the state of constant arrival available here where every turn is followed by another breath taking scene.
We walk hurriedly from camp with the expectations of town food at Tuolemne Meadows.
General group and individual conversations have focused on the nature of relationships, commitment and non violent communication. Last night Twinless asserts if you’ve thru hiked the trail with people you’re basically married. So last night 3 of us have marriage dreams but in mine I am an undercover FBI infiltrating ISIS in an arranged marriage. Um. Great.
As we approach Tuolemne the meadows, lakes and vistas become more and more mind blowing. Groucho skinny dips in a water fall. We stop by soda springs which eminates cold carbonated water. This is where John Muir ruminated on preserving our nations treasures and a year later Yosemite National Park was born. It is the most beautiful place I have ever beheld.
At the store I clean up in the restroom and eat some town food. They offer a surprisingly tasty vegan burger.
At 1pm our friends Vedantin and Gabriella and Munai drive up from the valley to visit. They own the yoga school we trained at last winter. It’s wonderful to chat and share time. They also bring us a generous resupply which hits all the right spots.
There are so many hikers coming and going from Tuolemne – folks hiking for Labor Day weekend, folks thru hiking the 300 mile John Muir Trail, folks just here for ice cream and to see what they can see from their cars. One British guy Q&A’s us for a few minutes before heading across the street for a picnic. I chase him down with a card that has our website and email. 30 minutes later he comes back and slips $50 under Groucho’s cup saying simply “so you can get a nice dinner” before walking away. The gesture tears us up. A few days later we will use the money to buy healthy veggies and make a homemade dinner for 5 SOBOs at the hostel in MAmmoth.
At 5pm we hit the trail and camp at the base of a big climb.
This day is why we are here. Hard climbs. Glorious vistas. Marmots and pikas and fish and squirrels. Friends and endless water.
By 10am we are doing head stands by a creek. By noon we summit Donahue Pass. The rest of the day we wind our way around prettily situated lakes. We opt to take an alternate on the John Muir Trail. In 8 miles we pass Lakes ruby, emerald, garnet, shadow, Rosalie and finally Gladys. Huck asks what percentage of lakes are named to impress women. Obviously all.
An easy seven miles downhill to Town Food! We first enjoy a blue blaze to check out Devil’s Postpile National Monument. A lava born hexagonal structure that looks like a neatly tiled floor when viewed from above.
Arriving at the road we consider calling a cab for $75 on this remote stretch but shortly our savior Roxanne and her dog Cody come along and we are joyfully swept to town by this generous spirit.
We do all the town things: burritos, booze, laundry, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and then we take the free trolley to the hostel. We share a room with Bug and Huck. Groucho cooks in the super kitchen. I try to clean my feet I fail to succeed.