After a long schlep through a bunch of snow in the Sierras, we came to Red’s Meadow and after putting down a couple burgers, we caught a bus down to Mammoth. On the bus a little girl got on and said, “Mommy, it smells bad in here.” Couldn’t have been the dirty smelly hiker trash sitting in the back of the bus. Kids say the darnedest things. We met up with a bunch of more smelly hikers staying at the motel 6 and saw a bunch of friends we hadn’t seen in months. It was great to see old friends, but tough to keep eyelids open past nine. After rocking the Sierras we figured it would all be easier from here on out, but boy were we so wrong.
After leaving Red’s Meadow, we walked by Devil’s Postpile, over some more snowy passes, and dropped down into Tuolumne Meadows where we wound through a beautiful meadow with the river meandering along the trail. After getting our resupply, and skipping the overwhelming tourist throngs heading down into the valley, we pushed on through 6 miles of our favorite stretch in Yosemite. The trail climbed over smooth rocks along the Tuolumne River and near some big falls and the climb into the meadows was beautiful. We fell asleep listening to a pack of howling wolves and star gazing. The rest of Yosemite I can imagine is very beautiful and relaxing in a normal year at this time, but for us it was only a few steps before climbing over a giant snow dune and repeat, the entire way with some intermittent death defying stream crossings thrown in. Nothing like a 6 am neck high freezing ice melt stream crossing to wake you up. This was the first time on the hike we actually ran out of food and were eyeballing each other’s food we were so hungry. Very long exhausting days that were very slow going. The high for us was knowing how physically and mentally challenging this section was and making it through together, and looking out for each other. When we hitched out to Kennedy Meadows (north) from Senora Pass, we got a ride form the nicest family ever. Here is Ville to tell you more about that:
Freakin nicest people ever! That pretty much wraps it up. The Tevlin family's generosity makes Mother Teresa look like selfish and mean. We were hitchhiking down from Sonora Pass to southern Kennedy Meadows campground. We were both extremely hungry after our food ran out and more tired than ever. Then like a shining knight riding a white horse, Mitch Tevlin pulls over and says " Hop in kids!" Then on the way down to the campground the family invites us to pitch our tent on their campsite. Mitch's wife Renee started asking what we would like to eat for dinner etc. At that point Kristen and I are thinking who are these people offering food and shelter for 2 smelly, dirty and homeless looking bums/hikers?? That night they fed us till our stomachs were about to explode. Mitch and Renee have had their share of adventures in their life when Mitch used race professionally rally cars in Baja, Mexico. Those stories were fun to listen by the campfire while enjoying one of my favorite beers. The next day Mitch and Renee supplied us with Mitch's amazing beef jerky, the jerky was spicy so it made us both smile and cry. All this was not enough for them, once they heard that I like cigars Mitch ran into the RV and gave me a really good cigar that I later enjoyed on a mountain top near Lake Tahoe ( picture included). They gave us a ride back to the trail and before their tail lights were gone we had already eaten the beef jerky they gave us!
Thank you so much Mitch, Renee and Sierra! We miss you guys.
After getting a ride back to the trail, we headed north through yet more snow and beautiful scenery. We got lost quite a bit and had long stretches of buried trail on north faces, but made it through to Ebbett’s Pass where we were surprised by Doug with trail magic breakfast. Thanks Doug! On we pushed to meet our friend Robin who drove down from Bend, Oregon and met us at Echo Lake. The trail into Echo Lake was more beautiful meadows and amazing wildflowers. Robin was able to hike with us for the next 4 days the Tahoe Rim section of the trail to Truckee. She was such a trooper jumping into all that snow, but we all had a great time and it was so nice to see a friend on the trail from home. In Truckee we polished off some serious amounts of sushi at a buffet and had some excellent margaritas before Robin headed home and we headed back to the trail.