June 9th-10th 2016: Tuolumne Meadows – Glen Aulin – Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne o Tuolumne. All the memories. So much won. So much lost. I push away the nostalgia and try to see the place as just a place with trees and rocks. Still it are the same trees and rocks who have been silent witnesses of the woman I was 3 years ago, of the night in August 2013 around the fire and the friendships that were born. Tuolumne o Tuolumne. This time the river is high and roars like a wild creature, and once again the place is a witness of who I am.
We leave camp at 8:30 am. Sleeping in feels like heaven. Time to hike 5 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. 5 symbolic miles. The journey will never be over. I’m not sad. No. Rather I just enjoy the beauty and power of the roaring Tuolumne River, the Sierra scenery, the rocks and mountains and pines. The crazy waterfalls. They will all be here when I am ready to return.
After lunch at Glen Aulin we hike on another 1,5 miles down Tuolumne Canyon. The river and waterfalls are going crazy. Never have I witnessed the force of water from this close. The water shoots in the air, bouncing off the granite, almost evaporating into nothing and the wind carries the tiny drops to us and wets our skin. I notice it smells like seaside and it confuses me. I always thought it was the salty seawater smelling like this. Did I instead smell the mountains where the water is coming from when I’m down at the seaside? I don’t know but in combination with the sierra pine smell it just smells amaaazing!
O Sierra, this day feels all like Sierra. The sun, the wind, the rocks and water and trees and mountains. They all breath and live SIERRA here!
After a good night in Glen Aulin we leave at 6:50am to return to Tuolumne. We have to travel on. HQ needs to catch his flight to NY while I will travel on to Big Pine and the Inyo Mountains. The climb is fast and easy and we can just cruise. The waterfalls seem even more impressive than yesterday.
We’re too lazy to find our ways around the creeks so we toss in stones and pieces of wood on which we try to balance across. Of course I slip and I say “fuck it” and I just walk through the icy cold water . HQ’s feet are still dry but at the next crossing he slips too and says “fuck it” as well. Who cares about cold feet when the sun is climbing the sky already. We’ll be warm again soon.
HQ now officially changed his trailname into “The Unicorn Roottripper” aka “Roots”. While we hike back to Tuolumne I’m telling him: “Your trailname is Roots now. You can’t keep refusing trailnames.” And I swear 1 second after I was done speaking he frikkin trips over treeroots so fucking big that even a blind person would have seen it. So I’m like “Did you do that on purpose?” and he goes “No”. So there you have it. The sign! Nature approved of the trailname Roots so ROOTS IT IS!
By 9:20am we’re back at Lembert Dome and we drive on to Mammoth, get a campspot at new shady rest and grab a way too expensive shower (7,5 bucks. seriously folks?) across the street, go buy food and celebrate our last evening with pizza from Giovannis and cheap red wine. Party!