Blog Archives

2 Days on the JMT

It’s always disappointing when a hike doesn’t go as planned.  It’s worse when you have to come off trail early because of injury, but that is what happened to me this week.  We got a late start in Tuolumne Meadows on Saturday.  About halfway down the trail, while I was working through Lyell Canyon, I was noticing that my hip was feeling a bit sore.  It was feeling great by the time I turned in that night.  I thought it would be okay, but in the morning the pain was back and I knew there was no getting up Donahue Pass.  By the time I was back at the halfway point through the canyon and headed back to the ranger’s station, I knew I had made the right choice in heading back.  It’s never fun or what you hope for when you start down a trail, but knowing when to call a trip is an essential tool to safety when backpacking and a lesson I got a stark reminder of this time.  The only thing to do is get healed up and try for better luck next time, which hopefully will be in October, though not on the JMT.

100_2547

 So I only got two days hiking in the Sierras, but they were two amazing days!  Sadly, my camera got some moisture in it and so the pictures are a bit fuzzy, but still gorgeous.  I woke up on Saturday, ready to go and excited.  My partner took a bit longer to get ready, so we ended up with a later start than I wanted.  We started just outside the Tuolumne Wilderness Permit Station and headed towards Lyell Canyon.  The weather was perfect and the trail was beautiful.  100_2555The trail follows the river upstream and there are plenty of places to get water.  Most of them are also pretty awesome places to dip your feet in.  It looked like this for about 8 or so miles and was mostly flat hiking, but if you think you have to climb to see amazing sights, you don’t in Yosemite!  The views were gorgeous and the trail even varied a bit from open fields to wooded forests and babbling streams throughout it all.  The trail itself was not as perfect.  Years of overuse has turned the delicate topsoil of the Sierras into sand.  It’s not uncommon for trails in the Sierra Nevada to turn sandy like that and it can be hard to walk quickly through.  The Sierras and especially Yosemite, is covered in granite so there was a lot of lose rocks and stones in the trail that also can make walking at a quick pace challenging.  It has occurred to me that the sandy trail may have in fact caused or contributed to my hip 100_2556pain.

We started thinking about finding a camp spot around 4 in the afternoon and pulled out the maps and guide that my partner brought.  There are 3-4 places to camp along this section before heading up the pass.  The first two are pretty nice, especially if you have bigger groups.  We didn’t stop because we were hoping to get as much out of the day as we could with our late start, but the third camp spot we found was at the beginning of the hike up to the base of Donahue Pass.  It was barely 100 ft from the water and kind of in a gully.  Well, we took one look at that and checked our maps for something that sounded less damp and cold.  The last camp hit the spot, but required a 1,000 ft climb to get to.  The climb was worth it since it got us to a spot that was much warmer and drier, but still quite close to a good water source.  There was even several great flat tent spots.  We set up camp, boiled water, re hydrated food, put the bear can in a small field close by, and sunk into bed.  100_2552The next morning was when I realized my hip was hurting too much to go over a pass like Donahue, so I told my partner who was fine going solo and I cleaned up camp and was on my way back out by 8 am.  Thankfully all that up we had done was now down and the flat meadow was a lot easier than anything else would have been.  All the same, I could tell by noon that turning around was the right choice.  My normal 2-3 mile an hour flat speed had been reduced to 1-1.5 mph and I was hurting.  The whole way out, I was so grateful for my ultralight obsession.  I really think I would have had to get someone to have a ranger come and get me if my pack had been heavier.  I got to the Tuolumne Lodge in time for the hiker bus to Yosemite Valley and then the Yarts bus to Merced.  Unfortunately, being Labor Day weekend, the bus couldn’t get through the traffic fast enough to get me on the train in Merced so I I had to stay the night there.  A woman and her son who had been backpacking the White Wolf area was kind enough to give me a ride to a hotel and I got a taxi to the station in the morning and headed home.  The time on trail was amazing and I saw more wildlife in 2 days in Yosemite, than the last 6 months at home.  We saw mule deer, stellar jays, prairie dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, even a coyote in broad daylight!  I did not see any bears while hiking, but I saw one on the way up to the park and three on the way home.  It was really a magical time in the most magical place I’ve ever been.100_2549

Advertisements
ASMR University

The Art & Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Lady Light Travel

Women's travel with a single carry on. Tutorials, packing tips & techniques, clothing ideas, and more!

What A Ride

Navigating the peaks and valleys of this crazy, beautiful life

Adventure with The Triumphant Trio

Oh the places we will go

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

UL Gear Blog

- ultralight backpacking gear reviews

Appalachian Trail Girl

A How-To for Hiker Girls

eastwestfarm

After 4 plus years of leasing a small house on a patch of land 20 miles outside of Atlanta, we moved 80 miles to our Forever homestead.

Home Yoga Practice

Practicing svadhyaya by reflecting on learnings in yoga class

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

GearToons

Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.

jearsblog

"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." Leo Tolstoy

Katesurfs.com

Natural Parenting Blog

twogearguys

A fun look at todays best hiking gear.

GreenPackin'

When BackPackin' go GreenPackin'

Intentionally Small

exploring small spaces and simple living

Hiking Acorn

Tales of Blisters and Bears

Loneoaks Ramblings

On going Hiking Adventures

Paddle In

New Journeys, Old Traditions

Catalyst Strength & Wellness

Strength Begins With Breaking

CouchtoCDT

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Northbound in 2013- sharing my preparation for the hike and my day to day experience while I'm on the trail. Inspiring people to follow their dreams.

smackpacker.com

ultralight backpacking gear reviews, trail reports, wisdom and smack

Esoteric Hyperbole

Musings, Rants, Ponderings

living extraordinary small

compact living with responsible design

The Lazy Homesteader

The latest dirt from the Schell Urban Homestead

My Charming Beauty

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Makais Blog

Sports + Outdoors

Randy's Outside Blog

Let's Go Hiking

Off the Couch and On the Trail

Preparing for Our 2013 AT Thru-Hike

HikeLighter.Com

"sub 2268 hiking" ~ John Abela

Camp Smarts

Life in the outdoors

paulaslongwalk

Just another WordPress.com site

Imagine It's Finished

Ramblings of a Frustrated Overachiever

patagonian dreams

live your dream, share your passion

grizanderson

...from the middle of nowhere

The Not So Empty Nest...

join me in my transition

Bedrock & Paradox

I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with a non-human world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.

Fat Man of the Mountains

Combining three favorite pastimes: writing, hiking and running, slowly.

Minimalist Meg

one Megan on a mission.

Fat Eagle Scout

A journey into shape and back outdoors

Wilderness Backpacking Blog

A guide to backpacking in the wilderness

Not Molly

Rebelling in Very Small Ways