I slept a little late but had a good full day. I want to try to do 25 miles per day for the next few days, so today’s 22+ is good enough. I have been carrying a Mountain House chicken fajitas dinner and I wanted to stop a little early so I could have plenty of time for fajitas.
The Sierra camp folks were well behaved last night, as I was able to get to sleep pretty quickly. Sleeping next to a brook helped to drown out any noise the earplugs did not take care of. I awoke at 5:30 and fixed my bagels. Two bagels are a lot of food first thing in the morning so I’m going to cut back to one tomorrow and just hit the granola bars earlier.
The morning hike was a jumble of ups and downs with lots of rocks and a little meadow walking. I see two or three Meadows like the one in the first picture every day. They are nice to walk by, but the trail ruts can get pretty deep and make it hard to walk. I didn’t even bother with the poles today. Using poles in ruts like that is frustrating. I have been thinking about sending them home but they are useful in stream crossings. I didn’t use them at all today and crossed over a dozen streams.
At lunch time I came across a lake in the middle of a meadow, so I spread out and ate my salami and cheese wraps then took a thirty minute nap. There were mosquitoes but a good breeze kept them away much of the time. Another hiker spread out everything he owned to dry in the sun. I was drying myself.
The afternoon was similar to the morning, little ups and downs with lots of rocks. There was one big climb to Matterhorn canyon, but it had nice switchbacks. The one recognizable pass, Benson pass, was the smallest yet. Compared to the others I felt a little claustrophobic. The mountains on either side were quite close. There as one small snow field, but it was easy to walk around.
Up to this point in the day, I had only seen three other hikers going southbound. There were two northbounders leaving the pass as I arrived. For the last few weeks I have been used to seeing twenty to sixty hikers a day. Shortly after the pass, I did go by a large group of about eight resting away from the trail. Since we are getting near the northern border of Yosemite and the John Muir trail is no longer the same as the PCT, the traffic should go back to being very sparse like it was back in southern California.
I did manage to find a decent camping spot right at 7 PM, so I stopped so I could make my fajitas. There was another campsite two miles further, but I was hungry and had been thinking about fajitas for two days. I found a nice cooking spot and made my fajitas. They did not disappoint.
As soon as I exit Yosemite, the bear canister is no longer required. I am two days away from a pack station that will mail my canister home for me, so right now that is the destination I am aiming towards. The canister has been nice to have, but two pounds is more than I want to pay for the luxury of a seat to cook from. The microspikes need to go home, too. The pack station also has a restaurant and store, so that may end up also being my resupply. There is a town I can hitch to that might have more options, but I’ll figure that out later.