Day 56 (Tape)

Okay this entry for, I guess, Monday June 10th. Interesting day. Um, let’s see. That was actually yesterday.

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I had to stop there and watch a deer meander out of our way. So yeah, it was yesterday. It was interesting day because it was through the same area that I had ah taken a pack trip through with my dad before going to school in Portland. And ah, that was a good time in my life, it was a good pack trip. I recognized some of the peaks, Mt. Ritter and Banner peak. Which we went through the pass in between the two. And this time went ah high on the valley on the other side, and just kind of got a good view of the landscape of the stuff we’d done before. And I remember Thousand Islands lake, which we passed by. And ah, we did all that part in the morning. And I kind of reminissed about previous backpack trips, and that one. And then we got to Thousand Islands lake and everything was new again. And from there we headed up to Island Pass, which wasn’t really much of a pass at all. Just kind of ah, kind of a low flat ridge. But ah, it was somewhat high altitude, 10,300 or 10,400, somethin like that. And ah, on the other side of it, the land was just really ridgy and mixed up and full of streams. And mostly covered with snow. And ah, I was kind of worried about finding my way through it. But we started, and we had a… we knew the guide told us we had three wet fords to make before we started up the next pass, Donohue Pass. And ah, I stopped on the way and kind of figured out where Donohue Pass was. And ah, which was a likely way to go up it.

And we started down. And it really was a mess down in there. We did find some trail, and we followed it. And we did ford some streams. But we forded a lot more, or crossed anyway, a lot more than three. After we’d forded three, we ah, we came to a junction where there was a footbridge over a big river. And ah, I thought we would just pass it by. And we started walking, and then I noticed that we going 180 degrees, the opposite direction of what we wanted to. So we turned around and went back to the footbridge. And I just could not make sense of how we had gotten there. I could kinda guess where it was on the map, but ah, it really just didn’t make any sense how we’d gotten there. And so we went back and re-forded our last ford, and got all wet again. Ah, and I still could not figure out where we were. I just knew we had to uphill and North-West. And so eventually we just gave up and ah went uphill Northwest, with no trail, or no sign of trail. And after I did that for a little while, low and behold, we ran into the trail. And I had really been feeling confused and hopeless. I hate that feeling of just not being able to make sense of anything. None of the directions were right, none of the streams were flowing in the right direction. So finding the trail felt good.

And we walked up it a little bit, saw another deer who gratefully posed for probably 2 or 3 minutes for just the right picture for Pete. And continued up the trail and back into the snow to Donohue Pass, which is just over 11,000 feet. And I’m not sure, but that may have been the last time we get that high. So ah, we didn’t know for sure cause we didn’t have the future guidebooks. But just in case we ate a candy bar to celebrate. Our last candy bar. So we don’t have one today, but I don’t think it’s gonna matter too much.

And we started down. Oh, Pete’s name for that whole thing was a ‘three ford sandwich’ which actually turned out to be a five-ford sandwich, between two large passes, with extra snow. That’s what that little part of the trail was, took us a long time to do it.

We started down the other and made our way pretty well. And started down the Dana fork of the Tuolumne River, I guess is what we’re, we were walking down. And ah we stopped and cooked dinner, because we were worried that when we got lower we would be infested by mosquitos again. So we wanted to eat in peace, which we did. And ah, started down again. Got below most of the snow and found the trail. And ah, got down to some meadows. Which we figure was about four miles from the pass and topped off a 20 mile day. And ah, so we stopped to camp, and there were no mosquitos there! And ah, we’d read in the guide book that this place was terrible with mosquitos. So, but there weren’t any, so we didn’t pitch the tent. And I sat and wrote a letter, and stretched out a little bit. Relaxed, and felt really good. And ah went to sleep and during the night figured out why there are no mosquitos. Because it gets freezing cold down here at night! And our tennis shoes froze solid, our socks froze solid. And Pete was cold all night, cause he chose that night to experiment with sleeping without a pad. And I got cold a couple times that night too, just cause I think I wasn’t wearing enough clothes.

But we made it through, and now its the morning of ah June 11th. And I guess we started about 9 miles away from Tuolumne Meadows. So we’ll probably get there early in the day, for an early lunch. And ah, start taking care of the resupply business. And I guess we’re done with the big mountains. Least that’s what Ray says from the handbook. And we’ll be sending back our boots and extra warm clothing and all that stuff. So we’ll have lighter packs again. And ah, yeah, I have no idea what the trail is going to be like from here on. We go through Yosemite, I have kind of a picture of that in my head. But ah, other than that its just a mystery to me. So pay attention, to see what mysteries the trail north of the Sierras holds…

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