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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Date: Tue, Aug 18th, 2009
Start: Tuolumne Meadows Campground, CA
End: Vagabond Inn Sacramento, CA - 54 ft
Trip Distance: 800.0
Entry Lat: 38.58332
Entry Lng: -121.50191
Min Temp: 45
Max Temp: 90
Entry Visits: 939
Journal Visits: 95,292
Guestbook Views: 34,252
Guestbook Entrys: 123
Leaving the Trail
Well, in case anyone is wondering, it is possible to get from Tuolumne Meadows to Sacramento, CA in one day using public transportation. We managed it but it took all day, using 3 different buses and 1 train. Oh, and a little walking.
We were up and ready to go by about 7:30am. We walked down to the Tuolumne Meadows store to wait for the YARTS bus (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) that would take us down into Yosemite Valley. They have two routes, the east side which goes from Mammoth Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows and on to Yosemite Valley, and the west side which goes from Yosemite Valley down through Mariposa to Merced. We left Tuolumne Meadows just after 9:00am and got down to Yosemite Valley just before 11:00am. We bought bagels, cream cheese and lunch meat (and ice cream) at the Village Store and fixed a bagel sandwich. The bus down to Merced didn't leave until 4:00pm so we walked over to Housekeeping Camp near Curry Village, got showers and did our laundry. We figured we might be allowed to ride INSIDE the bus if we smelled a little less ripe.
After getting cleaned up, we walked over to Curry Village to catch the west bound YARTS bus to Merced. I had cell coverage but no data connection so I checked the Amtrak schedule from Merced to Sacramento using their automated agent, Julie. It looked like there was a train leaving about 30 minutes after we would arrive so that sounded just right. Our bus arrived right on time and we headed out of Yosemite Valley about 4:00pm. If you are wondering why we didn't spend some time in the valley before leaving, here is the answer. We had spent a week in Yosemite several years ago in early June and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Mild temperatures, mid-sized crowds and lots of water coming over the falls. Today it was over 90 degrees, the crowds and lines were crazy and Yosemite Falls was completely dry. Still some amazing scenery but we didn't feel like we wanted to spend time out in the heat with the crowd and the noise.
Once we got down close to Merced, I was able to book our Amtrak tickets to Sacramento using the web browser in my smartphone. Merced to Stockton on the San Joaquin train, then Stockton to Sacramento on an Amtrak bus, getting into Sacramento at about 9:00pm. Now to find a place to stay. Using Google Maps on the smartphone, I looked for hotels near the Amtrak station. The closest one is the Vagabond Inn so I check out their website. Price, description and appearance looks a lot like a Best Western so while we are rolling north on the San Joaquin at 80 MPH, I make our reservation on their website. Pretty cool.
We change from the train to the bus at Stockton and have about a 45 minute ride to the Sacramento Amtrak station. On the way in, the bus drives right by the Vagabond Inn a couple blocks from the station. Nice, now we know which way to walk to get to the hotel. We get checked in, shower and crash. Tomorrow we will spend the day in Old Town Sacramento, checking out the railroad museum and the other shops they have there. I've got our tickets for the Coast Starlight to Eugene which leaves here at midnight, getting us home about 12:40pm Thursday.
Animal sitings: Deer, squirrels.
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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