The continuing saga.
The last post concluded with Kathy handing me a cold beer in the parking lot of TM Lodge.
After swig and a hug the job of sorting began, emptying the bearicade, storing stuff not needed on the next leg, pouring wine from glass into plastic, identifying lunch bags, and sealing dirty clothes in plastic, etc. Then took clean clothes and pack with broken rod and repair materials up to our “tent cabin.” Next order of business was head for the shower, I’ve never taken a shower with a bearicade before but we were both clean as a whistle when we emerged!
After the shower we headed to the office where we were able to move our dinner reservations a bit and reserve a place on the hiker shuttle from Curry Village to Tuolumne. It took just a few minutes to repair the rod tip broken two days earlier with some super glue and the new tip guide Kathy purchased in Bishop. Dinner was great and we shared a table with a couple of young German climbers who were finding the granite of Yosemite much different than the rock in their home country.
At 0 dark 30 I was on the road to the valley to park the car in the Curry Orchard Parking Lot. Saw two coyotes about 200 yards apart trotting along the road near Crane Flat. I had the feeling it was mom and dad returning home after a night of hunting. Arrived at Curry Village in plenty of time before the bus was due so I had breakfast. I guess the bus is also a tour bus and the driver talked the entire drive from Curry Village to TM. I was kind of annoyed at first but kind of got into his campy jokes after a while. Before I knew it we were driving up to TM Lodge.
After reuniting with my true love we headed to the wilderness center where we changed our entry from Raferty creek to Lyle Fork. I enjoyed the LF so much I thought Kathy would too and figured there would be less horse and mule poop going this way. And since we were carrying light packs (15 and 22 lbs) we could handle the extra mileage. We had sandwiches and beers at the café next to the store, took the shuttle back to the “cabin” as Kathy was still feeling the effects of the elevation, and took it easy the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was again first rate but the same beer we drank at the store was $2.50 more than from the store.
After a humongous breakfast we headed out. Crossing the Lyle Fork we met a gentleman who offered to take our photo. Our only photo of the two of us on the trip. Kathy was still not a hundred percent but hung in there all day long without a complaint. At the Rafferty creek trail jct. she did her usual shedding of clothes (I can’t get her to start hiking a little cool!) and we continued on, each at our own pace. When the trail started to parallel the meadows of the canyon I began to meet some of the same people I met two days earlier when heading toward Tuolumne. About a mile before the cutoff to Ireland/Evelyn/Vogelsang we encountered a large group of mostly mature bucks drinking out of the river. At the junction a backcountry ranger checked our permit. We stopped for lunch at the first point where the trail closely approached Ireland Creek. As we passed Evelyn lake the obligatory naked lady was frolicking in the water. The tundra like terrain to the n. of the lake provided open views of northern Yosemite reminding me of adventures past and future. On attaining the top of the rise to the west of Evelyn the tops of the tents of the HSC were visible in the distance as were the looming flanks of Fletcher and Vogelsang and the silhouette of Choo Choo ridge.
Reporting at the office we found our tent assignment and at the tent met our tent mates, a nice couple about a dozen years younger than Kathy and I. Luckily nobody snored. Though the shower was not operational there was at least some solar heated water to wash up with before dinner, which was great and accompanied by a glass of the wine we carried up the trail. After dinner a walk to the shores of Fletcher lake found the lake surface broken with dimples of small feeding fish. That night, despite two ibuprophen pm, I did not sleep well and tossed and turned-getting tangled in my silk liner and dumping the heavy wool blankets onto the floor a couple of times. Kathy and I decided that we would be much happier if we had carried another 2lbs. each and carried our sleeping bags. Our tent mates had been warned beforehand and had brought their sleeping bags.
to be continued
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I love those wide open views from up high. It's both inspiring and torturous to be reading this post while A.) At work and B.) In the middle of winter. Now I'm off to a meeting before moving on to part four or your trip report!
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