Day 73: (8.7 miles)
mile 934 – 942.7
We wake to no rain or wet tent. Cool. The flying piranhas however are up early as well. We pack quickly, throw down our coffee and a pop tart and treat our eyes and feet to a splendid walk through cinematic terrain.
It’s like being in a 3-D movie. The experience touches all senses. You are compelled to stop and stare to take it all in, but realize the act would be futile as there is just too much. It’s almost overwhelming. I walk as slowly as I dare for Paul is jonesing for cheese burger, and has seen this territory with our son last fall.
I on the other hand and marking places in my head that I want to return to explore and fish. Paul catches on and tells me that for sure we will come back. I pick up the pace. We pass many an overladen JMT hiker, sporting a dangling fry pan, who smells and looks too good to have been on the trail very long. Some we talk with, others we just nod to as we step off the trail and allow each other to pass in the opposite direction. As we get closer to the trailhead and our destination, we see more day hikers in REI regalia sporting colorful nalgene bottles and floppy hats. Finally we reach the Tuolumne Meadows store and post office. The post office is temporarily closed as they are cataloging and sorting a shipment of new packages for PCT and JMT hikers, over 78 to add to the nearly 100 already onsite. No biggie. That gives us time for a cheeseburger and a few Golden Trout beers. After we eat we enjoy an hour or so of people watching. Absolutely fascinating… better than the airport. We make up stories of where they’re from and their outdoor experience. We take note of what they buy from the store. Finally time to pick up our package. Now we are being watched as we unpack and sort through our box. Having taken a look at myself in the mirror of the bathroom after washing my hands before burger time, I realize that I look and smell like a crazed homeless woman. Paul is not much better, so we must have been a sight to watch as well. We find a card and special jerky as early congrats for 1000 miles from our friend Jody.
A snack from our son (which we immediately devoured), and a homemade Father’s Day card and powdered peanut butter from our daughter. It’s like Christmas… again. We sort through our goods. Some items are thrown into the hiker box and the rest we cram into our bear canisters we love so much. We trudge up to the campground to the backpacker section and stake our claim. The afternoon is warm and it’s time for a nap. We set up and are drooling on our mats in no time. We wake to a racket of loud banter and the distinct laughter of…Arizona! He and Hemlock walk towards us, searching for where to make camp. We have a loud and boisterous reunion. We catch up and share/compare stories. We share dinner and conversation late into the evening. We yogi power to recharge our phones and spare batteries from the camp host. We share our plans for the next several weeks and expect our paths will cross again. Arizona is going to slack pack (hike a distance w/o his full pack) from Tuolumne to Curry village and the Yosemite Valley floor and Hemlock wants a shower and to do some laundry. We however, will get a move on in the morning on our way to mile 1000+.