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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Date: Mon, Aug 17th, 2009
Start: 4 miles north of Glen Aulin, CA
End: Tuolumne Meadows Campground, CA - 8675 ft
Daily Distance: 11.8
Trip Distance: 800.0
Hours Hiked: 5.5
Daily Ascent: 1726
Daily Descent: 1816
Min Elevation: 7875
Max Elevation: 8810
Entry Lat: 37.87234
Entry Lng: -119.35239
Min Temp: 37
Max Temp: 80
People Met: 102
Entry Visits: 897
Journal Visits: 94,666
Guestbook Views: 34,232
Guestbook Entrys: 123
On the trail at 8:30am looking forward to getting into Tuolumne Meadows today. The trail was good for the 4.5 miles into Glen Aulin. We were walking through a wide valley filled with a nice grassy meadow, forested steep granite slopes on both sides, with high mountain peaks visible in the distance. It was mostly a gradual downhill so we made pretty good time, reaching Glen Aulin at 10:45am.
Glen Aulin is located right at a large waterfall, the "White Cascades", on the Tuolumne River. There is still a large volume of water coming over the falls into a deep emerald green pool. Very beautiful spot for a break and then we headed on. We had about 6 more miles, slightly uphill, to Tuolumne Meadows and we were looking forward to that ice cream at the store. This section of trail turned out to be more difficult than the last, with more granite steps and round granite "cobblestone" style paved areas. Put sand on top of these granite areas and it can be pretty slick. On one of these "paved" areas I twist my left ankle and fall. Really twisted it. We keep walking in hopes that it will stay loose and not begin to swell.
The water through here is amazing. We come across many areas of small waterfalls that extend for hundreds of yards up the granite slopes. There are also a couple more large waterfalls. These are a mixed blessing because, although they are beautiful, the trail has to climb up the slope that the water comes down so when we see a large waterfall up ahead we know that we are in for a climb.
We start seeing more hikers as we get closer to Tuolumne Meadows. My ankle is doing ok although it does feel a little warm. The last couple of miles are back to good trail and we finally get into the Post Office - Store at about 3:30pm. We ask the postmaster to bounce our boxes back home and then go into the store to get our ice cream fix. We check the bus schedule and we can get a bus from here to Yosemite Valley and then another bus down to Merced where we will get a hotel room and get cleaned up.
The plan is to then get a bus to Sacramento and spend a day at the California State Railroad Museum. Then we take the Coast Starlight home.
We walked over to the campground and got set up in the hiker area. We no sooner get the tent set up and put all our packs, food, everything in the bear locker, when we see a bear! Our first bear siting of the entire trip and it happens in a campground. Probably a good thing actually. He just slowly saunters through between the camp spots, unfazed by the yelling, banging of pots and pans, and the car horns. He does have a tag in one ear so he's obviously a "regular" around here. As long as you don't have stuff sitting out, or you didn't leave the bear box open, he probably won't even give you a second look. He was kind of uniquely colored, dark brown head and back half with a very light brown middle. All is quiet now, but I won't be surprised if he makes another pass through sometime tonight.
Animal sitings: BEAR, squirrels, lizards.
Sounds of Freedom: 2 F18's heading south just about a 1000 feet up, nice and slow. Must have been a sightseeing tour.
Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2009
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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