Tuesday, August 20, 2013

day 13: 4th day on the JMT, Tuolumne Meadows to Donahue Pass

Today we left Tuolumne Meadows en route to Donahue Pass.  We heard two days before that it was still packed with snow (from some people who live close by).  We've been asking other hikers and everyone says it's fine so that's encouraging  It is a 12 mile hike to just below Donahue Pass, where we will be camping.  We left Tuolumne at 9:30 a.m., after packing up camp, eating breakfast, getting a muffin at Tuolumne Shop and catching a shuttle back to the original point we were yesterday.  (Side note: we found out last night that Tuolumne campgrounds opened that day for campers, thank goodness for us!  John made friends with a hippie teacher who told us that and many more things about the JMT--he's hiked it 2 or 3 times.)

Lyell Canyon

We hiked in Lyell Canyon which was absolutely beautiful (many pictures to prove it)!  We came across a man with his son who told us there was another couple hiking the JMT ahead of us.  Then we crossed a man hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT (it's a trail that begins at the American-Mexican border and goes all the way to the American-Canadian border).  He had already hiked 900 miles!  He told us the snow on the passes ahead of us weren't bad.  So we hike, hike, hike.  We saw two beautiful deer in a meadow, not as close as the ones in Yosemite.

more Lyell Canyon

To keep my mind off my aching body I sang in my head.  There was a mixed CD of Wagon Wheel, Come Thou Fount and Hands Down (by Dashboard Confessional) over and over and over.  And I prayed quite a bit too.  The one bad thing about this part of the hike was all the mud and streams of sheer snow melt.  One was particularly hard to cross, it took us around 10 minutes to figure out which way was the best to cross.  We did it and our boots were completely soaked.  I'm not complaining too much because Lyell Canyon was so gorgeous and peaceful to walk through.  This was one of our favorite places we've come across so far. 

 I think this is looking at Donahue Pass while in Lyell

We stopped for lunch later and our shoes and socks pretty much dried out while we ate.  I was able to eat breakfast, lunch and half of my muffin from earlier in the morning, yay!  Also, no morning meltdown on today.  Probably due to the fact that I'm actually eating (which means energy) and I knew early on that the hike for the day was supposed to be nice. 

Donahue Pass

After 8 or so miles the ascent began and oh my, that was nasty.  Mostly because I was exhausted and the sun was beaming right down on us.  But we made it!  I think it was 1.5-2 miles up and 1000 or so feet elevation change.  We finally got to beautiful Donahue Pass (well, we found a campsite right below the pass).  Stunning views and still lots of snow on the mountains!  We chatted with Keith, another hiker, who camped nearby.  He's probably about our parents' age and lives in DC but grew up around here, he comes back often to hike. He said he saw a bear in Lyell Canyon, yikes!  The mosquitoes at camp are horrendous.  John has tons of bites all over his shoulders and back.  I'm getting more on my legs and arms.  Right now John is taking pictures of the sunset while I'm writing this...John came to get me to watch the sunset...amazing!!  The colors were phenomenal!  We hung out with Keith while we watched the sunset.

 us right below Donahue (so cold!)

looking at pink clouds from our campsite

 more sunset at Donahue

Earlier in the evening there was a small hail storm and even thunder after that.  The thunder was so loud.  Probably because we're two miles up now (around 10,000 ft elevation).  There have been two thunderstorms while we've been in Yosemite and only one rained a little, which was nice because it cooled us off.  Also, we really stink, so gross.  But whatever, we're hiking y'all :)

 campsite right below Donahue Pass

What hurts: my back, shoulders, feet in general.  John's feet are really hurting him too.  We're hoping they correct themselves and we'll be stronger because ofit.

Side note: We saw a marmot today, it looked like a fat groundhog.

Total JMT miles: 35

1 comment:

whitney said...

awesome Jessi! So fun to hear about your amazing trip!