Miles 921.7 – 942.0
July 11th, 2017
I had been applying lotion every few hours to my feet in order to try to heal them as quickly as possible, but the cracks were still spreading and bleeding so today would not be the first day of pain-free feet. We had two passes to climb up and over for the day, the first being Island Pass which didn’t feel like much of a pass at all, and the other was Donahue Pass. At the top of Donahue Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail is where you enter into Yosemite National Park, and this would be the first and only time I would ever be checked for my Long Distance Hiking Permit. When we reached the summit we ran into a ranger, some young kid with fresh college degree and badge who popped out behind some rock as we approached. He was nice enough, but any sign of authority that far into the backcountry would make me automatically dislike anybody, so naturally I hated him. I understand the permitting system, and why they do it, but at the same time I’m not too fond of feeling governmental control while standing in one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever stood on Earth.
There was a few miles coming down off of Donahue Pass that was covered in many feet of snow, but after an hour or so we finally arrived to a dirt (mud) trail once again. When we got to the floor of Tuolumne Meadows we had about nine miles of some of the most beautiful trail I had seen to date. I had been to Yosemite many times growing up, but this was far different from what I had grown accustomed to, which was the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley. I pictured thousands of people every which way with their fancy cameras and tour shuttle’s lining the streets but there wasn’t any of that. Just the most amazing landscape I could ever possibly dream up, for nine perfect miles.
Dixie and I fell back a short distance from the rest of our group for a short period of time as we were getting closer to where we would take a hitch down through Tioga Pass, in order to get to the Whoa Nellie Deli at the infamous Mobile Mart. Just before where we were supposed to get off trail we took a short side trail on accident that led us to a random parking lot. As we sat there on our phones trying to figure out our mistake, a random guy and girl living the “Van Life” called over to us and offered us a couple of Miller High Life’s. All too often the mistakes you make will lead you to good fortune, I’ve learned not to force anything in life and for the most part just roll with it.
The best part about hitch hiking with Dixie: she gets picked up quick! It was funny how fast we got a ride that evening, definitely had nothing to do with her long legs and blonde hair . . couldn’t be . . As we drove down HWY 120 towards Lee Vining we passed our friends who were still out on the road trying to hitch their way down into town. They had been there for about an hour, and the look on their faces as they realized we had already gotten a ride as we drove by: priceless.