Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 71 - Curry Village to McCabe Creek

Today we said our farewells from Yair. It was hard for me to think about him flying back home, with me having 2.5 more months. But I had a great time with him on the trail, and I hope he enjoyed it as well.
He gave us both a good photo of the three of us, and wrote something nice on the back of it. He also gave me a letter I'm not supposed to read until he takes off, so I didn't open it yet.
We got on the hiker bus down at Yosemite Valley, meeting Big Boots and Ido and Maya at the station. The ride took about 2.5 hours, with the driver talking all the time, and telling stories about Yosemite and it's history. Some of it was interesting, but it was a bit too much.
Tuolumne Meadows store, this bird was eyeing our food
When we finally got up to the Tuolumne store, there were even more hikers there than last time, three days ago. A trail Angel, I'm sorry I didn't catch her name, kept bringing beers, sodas, muffins, and at some point she brought over stuff for everyone to have a sandwich lunch, with cold cuts and vegetables and cheese.
I also remembered to get the package from TarpTent - Henry Shires sent me a pair of replacement zipper sliders. Thanks! I will replace them in Bridgeport.
We met Raven, who was planning to head out soon, after the burger, and also had fun chatting with Free Refills, who came to do the PCT from Berlin, after almost completing it in '07, and Soft Egg from Seattle, who's parents are now in Tel Aviv.
We also bumped into Dafna, who was just sitting around the table there and noticed we are from Israel. She came to Yosemite to climb rocks. I hope she keeps safe and has fun.
After waiting a bit for the lunch menu to kick in, we got burgers. Again. It wasn't anything special. Again. But it was s nice lunch. We finally headed out to actually hike at around 12:00.
Some pack horses on the trail
The trail was pretty easy, most of the day. We still saw plenty of day and weekend hikers around, but we also met some new PCT hikers.
Stopping at Glen Aulin we met Fraser, Joey and another hiker I don't recall his trail name. We set there for a while and had a snack.
A cascade on the Tuolumne River, just before Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp
Further on, the trail started climbing some. We kept leap frogging them, Raven, and then also another hiker. When I passed him, he saw the AT patch on my pack, and we started talking. His name is Dr. John, and he hiked the AT at '04.
At around 17:30 we finally got to McCabe Creek, where we planned to stop for the day. It was a long day, at just under 14 miles, but we did start hiking late. Tomorrow would be hard as well.
We found a good camp site here, and set up our tents. Before we started cooking dinner, Dr. John came along, and joined or campsite, so we invited him to eat with us.
It was very interesting to chat with him. He just finished a 5 month bicycle tour around the US, and then went and did half the AT again. When he finished the PCT he plans to get to  Katahdin, the AT northern terminus, and hike south until he finished both the PCT and the AT in the same year. Impressive.
He also has a PhD in geology, and he worked at some place between Norway and the northern pole. Amazing.
A bit later three other hikers came to stop at our campsite. We were very surprised to see that two of them, Mowgli and Drift Wood, started the PCT with us, and we haven't seem them since Warner Springs. That's about 800 miles back. The third one is called Doc.
All in all it was a long day, and it was strange hiking without Yair. I hope this next section won't be too hard on us, until we get to Tahoe. Here comes the big mileage days!