PCT Day 46: Tuolumne Meadows

June 6

Mile 926.1-948.6 (22.5)

When my alarm went off at 5:45am, the sun was just creating the horizon. It warmed me while I packed up.

Just as I started hiking, I ran into Anka, who I’d met at the hostel in Mammoth, coming south looking for a lost cell phone. I found it on the trail a mile north. We hiked around each other all morning.

Donahue Pass was the first order of business today. Few footprints were still visible, so I meandered around the snowfields and walked in the general direction of the pass. Occasionally I’d run into a set of prints and follow them until they vanished. Donahue Pass was not as scenic as others, but I have developed a fondness for empty, desolate, blinding landscapes.

At the pass is the boundary for Yosemite National Park. I celebrated this not only because I was excited to walk through this fabled park, but also because it means the Sierra are wrapping up. I look forward to easier and higher-mileage days. 

The descent off the pass was fun and quick. The snow was slushy enough to sneaker-ski downhill, but icy enough that I wasn’t postholing much. I could cross ice bridges. I did a little route finding, but the trail was usually intuitive.

Then I came upon a sweet meadow. The trail became completely flat. Muddy at times, but still amenable to a 3mph pace. My dream! I flew to Tuolumne Meadows.

I picked up my box, filled with a fat resupply for two people, and slowly packed it away. I will have enough food until South Lake Tahoe. Anka and a JMTer named Joelle sat with me at the picnic table and shared snacks.

Some time after 4pm, I hiked out. The trail was flat still, and scenic, following the Tuolumne River. My body ached and I felt lonely. How will I hike without Spider for two months? How will I live in the woods while he lives in town? I miss him so much. I’m camped in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by mosquitos.


2 thoughts on “PCT Day 46: Tuolumne Meadows

  1. Loneliness is a difficult emotion. There will be a lot of people on the trail and nature will help with its wonders. Then, a life together in one of the most beautiful areas of the World. Stay well on this amazing journey.

  2. What an amazing journey you are having – and you’ll have years to savor it with Head for the Hills…

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