Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 57- A Thousand Jumping Fish

Mile ? To Tuolumne at mile 942

Last night I was up late-for a hiker-and this morning was on the lazy side.  I packed up and called home while eating breakfast.  We didn't leave camp until just before 7, but we were planning a short day.

The trail went up some, but it skirted Agnew Pass and went to 10,000 Island Lakes instead.  The lake was beautiful, but hard to enjoy with the thousand mosquitoes buzzing around.  The surfaces of the lake was rippling with a thousand fish jumping for mosquitoes.  It was pretty neat.

When we stopped at 9:30 for a snack it became clear it was going to be a day of very short breaks due to mosquitoes.  I put on deet for the first time on this trip and wolfed down a breakfast bar.  About a half hour later we took another short break-my shoulders demanded the break this time (usually the breaks are a demand for food).

There was a lot of water to cross or walk along so no relief from the mosquito, but as long as we kept moving they weren't a problem.

The climb up to Donohue Pass just about did me in-the trail it self wasn't hard, but it felt like a long time to climb up and my snack was completely used up.  Hiking is hard when you bottom out on fuel.  I couldn't really enjoy the climb because I was too hungry, but the mosquitoes weren't going to let me stop, and I was pretty close to the top.

There was a lake at the top of the pass so we climbed to the top of the hill next to the pass hoping for a breeze and bug relief.  And found both.  Collector joined us shortly after we got there.  It was a very pleasant place to have lunch (I had to have a pre-lunch of just a plain wrap before I could take the time to cut up summer sausage and cheese for a wrap) and then I ate all my peach ring gummies even though I meant to only eat a few.  Opus, Portrait, and I all packed up, stood up, and put our packs on at the same time without any discussion.  Collector thought it was pretty funny, but we've shared enough lunches at this point to know when it's time to move on.

There was some snow on the downhill side of the pass, but hardly enough to mention.  We were worried more about the mosquitoes in the valley-we heard they were supposed to be bad.  We followed a stream, crossed a lake outlet, crossed a waterfall, followed more streams and there were not really any mosquitoes.  It was such an unexpected treat, but we still looked down at the valley floor thinking the 10 miles on the valley floor next to a river were going to be horrible.
Crossing the lake outlet after lunch
They weren't. We had decided that we were going to Tuolumne today after all during lunch based on a southbound JMT's warning that the mosquitoes don't stop until the store-after lunch that advice seemed silly.  About 3 miles from the store we stopped for a quick break and I seriously thought about staying stretched out on a rock looking at clouds the rest of the day.  I have never felt so lazy going into a town stop.

Nevertheless the last 3 miles went by quickly.  We got to the Lodge around 6:30-just in time to wait an hour to be seated for our meal.

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