Day 1 to 5 on the John Muir Trail: From Yosemite Valley till Deer Creek

Here I go again. Ready to hit the JMT for the second time. It’s funny how 2 years ago I started preparing for my solo thruhike probably like 6 months in advance and now… O well I just hike. Not much planning, just hiking. We sent one resupply box to VVR and that’s it. But damn my legs are so much stronger now. It’s awesome.
We hike out of Yosemite Valley in no time, set up camp in Little Yosemite Valley and then get our butts up on Half Dome. Maria who is waiting at the bottom of the cables offers me her harnas. I happily take her offer and now feel completely safe going up the cables. First time I did it two years ago I was chicken shit. We gotta hurry though cause a thunderstorm is coming our way, so we climb up, take in the view and head back down quickly. Halfway down the subdome we find Phoenix, a chinese young man crunched down sitting on the slab rock with scary eyes. He’s afraid of heights and got stuck. So I give him a hiking pole and he grabs HQ’s arm and very very slowly we take him down. It takes a lot of “you’re doing great” and “we’re almost there” to get him down but we make it just before it starts raining. Thank god. You’re kind Maria says. And I tell her I’m only paying forward your kindness! Cause yes that’s how it works, that’s how you make the world a tiny bit better. By being kind, paying it forward!
The next day we head up Sunrise Mountain. It’s a special day for me. I will pass the place where I spent the night with my mountain lion. I decide to take a medicine walk today. Nature is my teacher, my mirror, my home. After taking some time on the exact spot it starts raining like crazy and it keeps on doing so all day. I guess we’ll have to be the sun then I think while we climb Sunrise Mountain. We pass sunrise camp and the trail turns into a creek. We don’t mind. Our umbrellas keep us dry and we jump from stone to stone, from one side of the trail to the other. Instead of hiking down to Tuolumne we decide to camp inbetween Upper Cathedral Lake and Cathedral Peak. Cathedral peak is hiding in the clouds when we get there. But then the clouds pass by and the Cathedral shows itself in all its beauty. I guess I’ve never been as grateful for a rainy day like I’ve been today. The rain didn’t bother me for a second. And I found a lot of peace in my medicine walk.
It’s a wet night but together with the new day the sun rises. It’s as if the trees are breathing when the sun touches their wet bark. Nature is just waking up when we hike down to Tuolumne Meadows. A quick resupply and onward. Through Lyell Canyon. It’s flat. We cruise. It’s beautiful. Before I know it I start climbing Donahue Pass. We camp at the same lake where I camped two years ago. Eating dinner, becomes a… hm how do I call it… a battle with mozzies. Have you ever tried eating with a headnet on?
We climb the rest of Donahue first thing in the morning, head back down, fly up Island Pass (really I can’t believe it myself. My legs are so awesome. They move like as if it’s nothing.), admire Thousand Island Lake (o I have so many special memories of this place), Garnet Lake, Emerald Lake, Ruby Lake, Shadow Lake and decide to camp at Rosalie Lake. It’s kind of an emotional rollercoaster for me, hiking the JMT again. Memories, friends, conversations. I feel like I remember every step, every stone, every word. And I have to remind myself today is today and now is now. But still… Sometimes memories are so sweet and all you can do is cherish them.
We spend the evening with Sarah and Pat at the campfire at Rosalie Lake. They are hiking the JMT and we really enjoy their company. We hope to meet them again down the trail.
In the morning we hike a quick 9 miles down to Reds Meadow. 2 men who are dayhiking give us enough food so we don’t have to take the shuttle down into Mammoth to resupply (the trail provides hell yesssss). We buy some extra snacks in the store and bammm are done resupplying. So after a burger at the mule’s cafe we decide to hike on. We meet tons of hikers we know and they are all surprised to see us going south. Hahaha. But I don’t regret our decision of hiking the Sierra southbound not even one second. The last few days have been amazing. Quiet. Wonderful. We are happy!
Ps: Did I mention my legs??? Hahaha 😉

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8 thoughts on “Day 1 to 5 on the John Muir Trail: From Yosemite Valley till Deer Creek

  1. I want those strong legs that feel like they can conquer the world. I’m going to add those words to my mantra when I’m suffering on climbs, when I’m looking for motivation to push each day. Hope those mossies are settling down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So jealous reading your post about Sierras. I’ll have to wait 2 more years before I see all those awesome places again. But I’m not complaining. Living in WA I really can’t complain. Glad to hear your legs are strong and you’re handling the terrain well. I’m there with you on the harness for Half Dome. We brought our harnesses and via ferrata sets for the climb as well. Looking forward to your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

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