Thursday, September 1
We were up before sunrise, ate breakfast by head lamp, packed up and were off by 7. We left the Tuolumne to the north, climbing 4000 vertical feet on the east side of a large glacial canyon. The trail was little used and, to my surprise, was overgrown at places with ferns and wildflowers. I had expected this section to be hot and dry, but was pleasantly surprised to find it cool and wet. The views down to the canyon were spectacular. The walk up was strenuous and several of us had to stop and catch our breath. We stopped satisfied with our exertions for lunch at the ridge line near a grove of white barked aspens full of meadowlarks and other song birds.
We then descended to Pleasant Valley past a small lake and over a trail that disappeared at points. We forded Paiute Creek and set up camp. The creek rushed down a rock wall nearby, with waterfalls, tubs and pools, and we passed the afternoon cooling off in the cold water. Eden prepared a fine dinner, Patrick made a roaring fire, we talked of families, illnesses sports and movies, and went to bed at 8 for an early start Friday.