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Tuolumne Tales

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Tuolumne Tales

Postby markskor » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:37 pm

Just stopped in here briefly to check in...schedule says 4 days on/ 3 off - so drove back today to Mammoth early this morning - pay some bills...sunrise over Mono Lake.
Living the dream Tuolumne...happily housed in back of the store along with ~25 other (looking for the correct word - hard to describe the collection of characters...fools, dirtbags, dreamers...scholars?) FYI, Charlie (the Grill dishwasher) just had a two-page color spread in Climbing Magazine.
Luckily, sharing a tent with Harry (for those who know, 'nuff said)...working the main store cash register...10 hour shifts...Fri - Mon, 10:30 - 8:30. Aramart's policy says to "engage all with a smile"...can do!
Yesterday, another 20 - 40 PCTers came thru... most stayed a few days...the Tuolumne Vortex sucks in all those who enter.

We call our group of tents - "Club Med"... our table - (X-mas LED cocktail lights, three BBQ's - two gas, one charcoal) the center of local "culture", AKA the Twilight Lounge...closes each night, promptly at 10 PM.
BTW, the view from the Twilight Lounge - most excellent.
Eat your hearts out...

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Mountainman who swims with trout



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markskor
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby gary c. » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:10 pm

Sounds like a great way to spend your summer. I hope you still find time to vist a few high country lakes.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby Ozark Flip » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:00 am

Thanks for the update Mark. Any musical instruments showing up? Guitar, mandolin, flute... I'll try and visit you and we can bend some strings.
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby Jimr » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:28 am

I was in the store the morning of the 18th. Guess you were off that day :-)
What?!
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby markskor » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:06 pm

Misc. ramblings from Tuolumne Meadows...

Three more weeks, (twelve 10-hour shifts) remain (for me) before my Tuolumne season ends...BTW, the TM store closes ~Sept 22.

Aramark seems to be learning the ropes slowly...the jury is still out on whether they will ever "Get It" - adopt a more hiker-friendly attitude. So far they seem clueless on the particular needs, those specific to hikers of Yosemite's trails. Compared to DNC, they are not proving to be receptive stewards...not yet adapting their values to Yosemite's historic past...sigh! We shall see. To be fair though, DNC did not make the transition an easy one - all past records were not passed on...no way to compare past to present.

Even though the Valley has free shuttle buses, Aramark implemented a "pay-per-stop" policy in TM...$6 one way to Olmsted point (6 stops), pp? Bus drivers (who hate the policy) carry no change and have no access to satellite credit card readers...will (sometimes?), with a smile, let you board anyway. Some hikers pay but most find other ways (hitch? - Two Cars?), and buses under-utilized. Aramark may use this low-rider data and curtail the local TM shuttle all together? Trailhead parking, (in fact all parking along 120), packed...often dangerous...guess getting your car/parking over the white line is too tough for some to understand.

We have had some hick-ups at the store. Due to Aramark's policy of not paying local contracts in a timely manner, we had/ have no Iso-butane canisters - not expected to get any more either till next season. Had the same problem with DEET - but now that the mosquitoes are gone, we got a large shipment. AA and AAA batteries were not available until last week...still no Chapstick. (Hard to run Yosemite from downtown Philadelphia.)
They re-negotiated the Pete's Coffee contract as $100,000 in arrears.

One of the store's two ice machines fried/died late June. For the last month (largest campground in the National Park system, just behind the store), we had limited to no ice. DNC would have replaced it immediately but not Aramark. We finally did get a new machine late last week but... (go figure?)...was wired for 220...maintenance has to order new electrical parts to make it all work...should be ready by late September.

Not one drop of rain since first week in June...strange.

The TM gas station was closed last year...the building remains but, even though signs are posted at Tioga and Crane Flat - "NO GAS IN TUOLUMNE!"...at least 20x a day get questions about it...still shows on Google Maps, etc. It is CLOSED!
... they also closed the Tuolumne Gear shop too. Why?

YNP instituted a "No Tobacco products sold" in TM...proving to be a good idea...can sell packs for $10 a pack...one guy got $10 just for two cigs.

Sign seen, written in dust, van back window..."I'm speeding because I really have to Poop."
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:42 pm

So, you're wearing the Aramark gear proudly? :)
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby Shawn » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:47 pm

Hey Markskor, nice update. Looks like you're having a blast. Too bad about ARAmark. Makes me wonder about the entire scheme of things with government contracts, even the simple things you describe cannot be corrected. :( I worked at a place that had ARAmark run the "cafeteria". They were so-so with regard to food and service, but not quite good enough. Fortunately the VP of the facility had to eat there each day along with the rest of us, so as soon as their contract was up for renewal they were promptly ejected.

How cool though to be up there for the season, bet you've heard a lifetime of tales from people passing through.
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby longri » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:19 pm

Mark, thanks so much for these reports. Keep 'em coming.
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby rayfound » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:11 pm

Jeez - no isobutane, deet, or chapstick makes for a pretty useless shop as backpackers go.
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby gary c. » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:24 pm

rayfound wrote:Jeez - no isobutane, deet, or chapstick makes for a pretty useless shop as backpackers go.

As long as they have hamburgers as is well. :wink:
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby Ozark Flip » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:28 pm

Marks's got two weeks remaining. Living the dream.

The nickle tour
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This is where is all goes down
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Greetings from the Tuolumne Meadows Store
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Re: Tuolumne Tales

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:33 pm

cool post, Flip.. thanks for the update..
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