Day 56

Day 56 – mile 930 to 942 – Lyell View Camp to Tuolumne Camp:
Probably the easiest day of actual hiking I’ve had so far.  I saw this coming, and maaaan it was nice.  The sun woke me up at the leisurely hour of 7am and got me moving.  The granite amphitheater around me was shining brightly while the canyon was still shaded below.
The trail dropped steeply for a couple miles before turning into the flattest thing since flatbread.  Welcome to Lyell Canyon!  Nothing but cruising through a wide canyon next to a wide and clear river.  I stopped for a long rest on a granite slab in the sun for longer than I intended in order to let my feet thaw out after a quick soaking.  This was by far the coldest water of the trip.  Straight glacial snowmelt.  Maybe I’ll go for a swim a couple miles down river after it has a chance to warm in the sun.
Tuolumne Meadows quickly appeared.  I was able to accurately judge my proximity to the road by the increasing number of clean and moderately out of shape people on the trail.  Eventually, the familiar granite form of Lembert Dome came into view and I knew I was there.
Despite the masses of people swarming the snack shop for lunch, it was easy to pick out the hikers, grouped at a ring of tables surrounded by backpacks and beer.  Hiker trash for sure.
I fed, imbibed, and resupplied.  Read for a couple hours along the grassy shore of the river, the sun warming me after a cool dip.  Back to the campsite, full of people.  Totally packed here.  This place is blowing up!  Who’s heard of Yosemite anyway?
Hiker talk is of a fire that sprung up, potentially closing ~100 miles of trail from Hwy 4 north to South Lake Tahoe.  That would be lame, but I have a couple days for the situation to develop before I need to make any decisions.  The low snow levels were nice, but this fire season could be brutal.  It’s just the beginning.


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