Day 79, 24 miles
I was up on on the trail at 5:20. A few minutes along I needed to step off the trail for a pee. No need to step far, or take off my pack, no one else is up at this hour. I was in assumed position when a hummingbird buzzed right up to my face and hovered for a minute. I love it when they do that, it’s happened before. Another mile down the trail, the meadow spilled into the forest. I do my usual “yogi, yogi, whoop, whoop” yell to warn any bears in the neighborhood. Something answered back. A howling. Wolves, coyotes? So cool. Getting up this early, I get to see and hear more wildlife.
Morning hike was 9 miles to Toulomne Meadows, which is right on the trail. I could see where hail had hit the trail hard last night. I had heard the thunder, but where I was camped was spared.
Eggs, cheese, biscuit, bacon. Visit with other PCTers, saw Porn Star and Hushpuppies. Haven’t seen them since the desert. Sweet was there too! Waiting for post office to open. Also saw Venture on the trail. It was great to see them all.
The John Muir Trail is like Disneyland for hikers. There are the cutest little fluffy animals prancing along the trail for show. Pristine rivers weave alongside. Everywhere you turn is magnificent views. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular mountain peaks, turquoise lakes. Ranger stations and crisp looking Rangers abound to keep us feeling safe and protected. Birds chirp and sing as smiling hikers skip down the trail holding hands….no wait, that’s just ridiculous. But, it is seriously a nature wonderland. If you enjoy the outdoors, this place is a must see.
The PCTers and the JMTers share the John Muir trail. You can spot the difference immediately. The JMTers have big shiny new packs. They wear heavy unskuffed boots. They are well groomed, clean cut, and smell like laundry soap, aftershave, and perfume. You know they have deodorant in that huge pack as well as a bunch of other unnecessary items.
PCTers wear running shoes that are usually falling apart. The guys have beards. Physiques similar to prison camp survivors. Our packs are so tiny the rangers are always checking to see if we are carrying the required bear canister. And we smell. Like the earth. Yeah, that’s it.
All that being said, I have respect for both parties. We are all here for the same reason. During our time here we are responsible outdoor stewards, taking only photos and leaving only footprints.
Afternoon was a fantastic hike, 15 miles. Top of Donahue Pass at 7 pm. Hiked over and down about 500 feet to a gorgeous spot as the sun set. Alpine. Creek. No one else in sight. Special place. What a great day.