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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Sat, Jul 4th, 2009
Start: Lyell Canyon
End: Virginia Canyon
Daily Distance: 21
Trip Distance: 954.0
Entry Visits: 653
Journal Visits: 132,520
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Happy Independence Day to one and all.
Thanks to Kurt we were up early again and on the trail just after 6:00 am. We continued along the meadow beside the Lyell River. There were a few waterlogged sections but other than that it was an easy and gentle cruise into Tuolumne Meadows.
Now the good news was that despite it being a holiday the post office was open until noon. The bad news was that my box wasn't there. Not sure what happened since Ann mailed it over a week ago. The guy at the PO thought it was down in Yosemite Valley PO because that's where mail goes if the address does not explicitly state Tuolumne Meadows. Figuring out what to do about it was more important now than what went wrong.
As Kurt and I were talking through various options I hear a voice calling me. It was Mike who I hiked with for a while going into Big Bear and had those enormous pancakes that you saw in the photo I posted. Needless to say he was eating pancakes when he called me. It was good to see him again. He got back on the trail at Tehachapi about a week before I got there and I have been slowly catching him up.
Another hiker who I met going into VVR was leaving the trail for a week to attend a wedding and he was sifting through all his food and told me he was going to be leaving some in the hiker box. In particular he had got to the point where he could no longer stand peanuts so everything with peanuts was being jettisoned. He brought over a bag of the supplies he didn't want and gave me first choice. I sifted through it and took out some candy bars (all containing peanuts), rice and noodles and gave the remainder to another hiker who had his eyes on this little goldmine of food. It's rather ironic that for someone who has had a lifelong distaste for almost all nuts I am now taking Snickers bars from someone who has just got to the point of being unable to eat anything with nuts. Funny world isn't it.
The store was also well stocked so I bought a lot more and I think I now have sufficient food for the week to get to Echo Lake, my next resupply. I also tried some different foods especially for lunch where I got a pack of tortillas, cooked meat, cheese and a tub of cottage cheese. I can keep them reasonably cool in the pack and at night in the bear canister they get well refrigerated.
Mike and I agreed to hike together for the week and he kindly offered to heat water for me as there wasn't any Esbit fuel at the store. So I was all set for supplies and got past the little inconvenience without too much effort. I also got my phone charged at the ranger hut at the campground where Mike was staying.
Kurt had gone ahead and Mike and I eventually set off for Glen Aulin to meet up with him and his family. The trail was rather crowded with lots of day hikers and others going to or from the trail camp. It was a well constructed trail with bridges over the rivers and steps on most of the steep sections. It was quite a luxury for us. Given the trail traffic it's easy to see why they made it a lot easier to hike. I was surprised to read on the trail sign that Glen Aulin is Gaelic for "beautiful valley". It didn't seem particularly spectacular at first but as we got close to the trail camp we came upon this wonderful waterfall, the best I have seen close up so far. A little further down was another one where we met up with Kurt and his family. We had a late lunch with them right next to this waterfall.
After goodbyes, Mike and I set out northwards. Our first task was a 1200 ft climb up the Glen Aulin canyon wall. At the top was an enormous meadow that we walked through for a couple of miles - almost as big as the meadow at the bottom of Lyell Canyon that Kurt and I hiked this morning. Then we went down the side of Virginia Canyon where we gave all that altitude back. We crossed the river's main tributary on some logs and kept our feet dry. We then scouted the river crossing and after considering a few options that were difficult and had potential dire consequences if something went wrong, we settled on a log crossing downstream a little way. We decided there was better camping on the south side so we elected to camp there for the night and tackle the river crossing in the morning.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
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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