Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Muir's March: Day 2

Sunday, September 13

We hiked through Tuolumne Meadows down thru bristlecone pines to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Off to our left, Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks appeared at unusual angles. We saw a large buck mule deer with large antlers. We stopped at a river pool to cool off, and the glacial canyon like Little Yosemite Valley opened up below us. Off to the right, the valley cliffs coursed up to craggy Matterhorn peak. After 8 miles, we reached the first of two waterfalls (Tuolumne) at Glen Aulin.

Glen Aulin, one of the Yosemite High Sierra Camps, is located in a subalpine meadow where Cold Creek flows in to the Tuolumne River. There were still wild flowers and sierra cabbage on the ground. The High Sierra camp closed for the winter the day we arrived. One staff member was still there. She let us use their firewood. The area below the falls has pools and smooth glacial rock slides. We saw a fawn in camp, and tiny mice near food sources.

Lee Stetson of Mariposa and his friend from Seattle joined us that afternoon. They had walked from Tuolumne Meadows also. After dinner, we stargazed on a hill, and made a roaring campfire. Lee - that is, John Muir - regaled us with stories of his treks in the sierras, his night on Shasta, his riding a snow avalanche, his most stupid trip thru a glacier in Alaska with a small dog, and more. Quite a treat. Four fishermen, Maxwell, Jack, Sonny and Gabriel (Fullerton firefighters and EMT workers) joined us at the campfire. They were trout fishing in the Tuolumne. river and nearby lakes along our route. Also joining us were Cat and Tom of Pacifica. Lovely time, good company, some whiskey that I spilled on myself.

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