Day 108, 9/14, Shadow Lake Jct, M-916, 26mi

It was a cold at night and a slow morning getting ready. Thankfully, the skies were clear.

There was still plenty of frozen hail covering the ground.
 

 
The Lyell Fork River looking spooky first thing in the morning.

Lyell Canyon is a real treasure in Yosemite NP.

Donahue Peak on the horizon with Donahue Pass and the trail obscured to the left.

Drying out gear on top of the Pass.

Banner and Ritter Peaks

1000 Island Lake.

Garnet Lake

Today’s route and the rest of the trail I’ll be doing basically follows the John Muir Trail. There are a lot more people on trail than I’ve seen in a while… mostly JMT hikers.

My body and legs definitely did not have their normal energy/power. Hopefully, a good nights rest cures that problem. Perhaps it was the cold/wet energy sapping weather last night ?

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Day 107, 9/13, to Yosemite Valley, M-942, 16mi

The Butcher and I walked out to the road around 7:15am to hitch a 10 mile ride to the Tenaya Lake trailhead. It took about 45mins to get a hitch (not much traffic) from a nice German couple. Our hike would take us over Clouds Rest (~10,000′) which would give us one of the best views of Half Dome anywhere in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is about 1000′ higher and only a couple miles away.

The final part of the climb is along a very narrow spine with incredible views.
Here is The Butcher making the final approach up to Clouds Rest.

Our first peek of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley.

A little hazy from some fires to the West.

I had a visitor as we relaxed and enjoyed the view.

The descent was just as fun as we headed down to Yosemite Valley, 6000′ below.

…more great views of Half Dome on the way down.

We passed by Nevada Falls…

…and then Vernal Falls on the aptly named “Mist Trail”

When we got to the Village we caught a free shuttle to the Post Office then stopped at the Village store/ grill. We bumped into Bullfrog who had hitched a ride down to meet up with his parents who were visiting from Lake George, NY. Very conveniently for us they were going to be driving back up to Tuolumne and offered us a ride. Four of us stinky hikers jammed into the back of a Subaru with packs on our laps. (Old Bum, Butcher, Bullfrog, and me).

The skies cut loose on the 1.5 hour drive back to Tuolumne.

There was several inches of hail on the ground at the Campground when we arrived around 6:00. Luckily, the worst of it cleared out while we were in a warm, dry car !

Hopefully, the trail dries out tomorrow before too long. Just walking through the campsite we were dodging very cold pools of water/hail.