We are off!
Camped at: 11S LB 01007 x 83110 (UTM)
Okay, so I went… even with the beautiful beach weather and the desire to be with Carol pulling me back. So we drove all night to get to the trail. We dropped Kenneth off at 6:00 am in Kennedy Meadows, on the 3rd of July. We expected another 3 hour drive from there to Tuolumne Meadows where Wesley, Allen, and me would start our trip south. It was actually a 5 hour drive. So we didn't start hiking until after 12:00 pm, and after I had been mostly awake for 30 hours.
We got lots of warnings from the Rangers while we were getting our permit. (I should not have worried about getting a permit because nobody is going into the mountains with all this snow.) The conclusion after talking to the Rangers is that it would be a difficult hike, but not a particularly dangerous one.
Before we started we had lunch at Tuolumne Grill. In the past, the food was delicious. This time it was only so-so. We did the normal pictures, and then took off.
Tuolumne meadows is very flat, only 400' (check) in 8 miles. We moved fast, but I hardly recognized the trail because the river was so swollen, that the meadows became a huge marsh.
We moved fast. At 5:30 we took our second break, and we were at the base of the climb to Donohue pass. Wesley wanted to make it to the lake before the pass, were we stayed the year before.
Wes went ahead, while Allen and I struggled up the switchbacks. Wes went too far for us, but he couldn't make it to the lake because of the snow. He stopped when he could no longer find the trial in the snow.
Allen and I had a difficult time catching Wes because we were so tired. The last part of the day exhausted us. At this point I had been up for over 36 hours, and emotionally shot because I was having doubts about this trip. But finally, after getting to camp, and resting, I am really glad that this trip is finally started. The first day went pretty good considering the pains it took to get here. We hiked all Tuolumne Meadows, and started our uphill climb over Donohue pass. In all, we did over 10 miles.