Miles: 925.7 to 941.7
It rained overnight, but it was the most behaved kind of backcountry precipitation. It didn’t start until we were curled up in our sleeping bags; it was soft and without wind; and it was over well before we had to crawl out of our shelter and start moving.
In fact, the morning was blue skies.
The climb up to Donahue Pass was fairly well graded. We only had to scramble over a couple of patches of snow. The thing about gradual climbs to passes is that you never quite know when it will end. The land just keeps on appearing over the next rise and the next and the next. With steep passes, you can see from the bottom where you’re going and even though it’s harder work, every time you look up to check your progress and catch your breath, you’re so much closer.
At the top of the pass, we entered Yosemite National Park.
The descent started off steeply. We dropped down to a torquoise lake and watched the Upper Tuolumne Meadow get closer and closer.
By 11 a.m. we were cruising down the west side of the meadow trying to avoid all the standing water on the trail and fantasizing about showers and food.
We’d booked ourselves a tent cabin at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge as well as reserved our place at dinner. Sleeping in sheets and next to a wood stove were very motivating prospects.
We made it to the lodge by 2:30. They let us check in early, probably just to get our smelly selves out of their lobby. Then we made our way to the post office.
Mom had sent us food packages ages ago when we thought we might make it to Tuolumne before we had to get off the trail in late May. And fortunately for us, the post office dude, Michael, is an amazing human and kept our packages waiting for us even though we were two weeks later than we’d originally thought. We promised him we’d show up and I was happy to keep my promise for so kind a human as Michael.
After getting our packages and pre-gaming for dinner at the Tuolumne Grill, we took the free shuttle back to the lodge, showered and went to dinner.
Richard got curry and I got a veggie burger. For dessert I ate a delicious cheesecake.
The seating was family style, so we shared our table with a couple who were celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary and a family vacationing from Oregon. They were very pleasant company.
After dinner we finished hand washing select clothing items; mostly socks. And started a roaring fire to encourage it all to dry by morning.