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Begins: Apr 1, 2008
Date: Fri, Jul 11th, 2008
Start: Cathedral Lakes
End: Valley Floor
Daily Distance: 17.1
Trip Distance: 2,501.0
Entry Visits: 381
Journal Visits: 69,255
Guestbook Views: 3,645
Guestbook Entrys: 9
Cathedral Lakes to the Valley Floor
I was up at 4:50 a.m. and quickly got on the trail. I traveled through the typical and breath-taking beauty of Yosemite: granite domes, meadows and trees. As I neared the Sunrise High Sierra Camp, I saw a single hiking pole resting against a rock. A little piece of trail magic, but I left it there thinking that its rightful owner might be in the Sunrise Camp and would come looking for it. Anyway, I was going home. I had put Cody’s boots on his back paws because they were looking a bit rough—after a couple of hours I put them on the front paws too. The granite was getting warmer as the elevation went down and I knew from experience that heat and granite were a bad combination for Mr. C.
I thought about climbing Half Dome but decided I didn’t need to. I have climbed it many times and the air was getting increasingly thick with smoke so the views would be minimal. I wondered if the smoke was due to new fires or was continuing from the fires that were here two weeks ago when I started my journey. Continuing down the trail I met another ranger with a volunteer group doing trail work. She asked me where I had come from and when I told her, she congratulated me on the journey and wished me well. At Nevada Falls, we stopped for a long rest and I knew this was a good day to leave the trail. Had we been going on, I would have stopped for a rest day—Cody needed it and so did I. Now, we just pushed on down to the Valley Floor. As I came off the entrance to the trail near Happy Isle, a sign claimed this as the beginning of the John Muir Trail. I asked a passing lady to take a photo of us together by the sign. She too asked me where I had come from and seemed suitably impressed when I told her.
At Happy Isles I caught a shuttle bus to housekeeping where I had arranged to meet Kerry. It would take him several hours to reach me due to a traffic snarl. In the meantime, Cody and I had a snack and I had a drink of ice cold milk, then I took a shower and sat down to wait. Lots of people stopped to talk to me; I think they were interested in Cody and his boots. Cody was just happy to be off his feet. Two women, Pamela and her partner, Cherie, in particular seemed to be concerned about me. They were in Yosemite for a family wedding and they kept coming back to talk to me and make sure I was ok. It was a small thing, but it made me feel welcomed back. The time passed quickly and eventually Kerry arrived. I couldn’t believe my journey was over. I felt happy and sad, and for weeks after wards, I felt oddly out of place.
Confessions Of A Serial Hiker
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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