Smores for our final camp.

JMT 2011, Day 18 -- 9/15/11

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Miles Hiked: 13 (according to Harrison). Miles to go: 9.9. Total at end: 23.9+238.8=262.7.

Since we wanted to buy breakfast and they open at 9:00am we slept in until 8:00. We finally got breakfast at 9:30. A PCTer named Skrags allowed me to use his phone card and call Carol. I told her that we might be done as early as 10:00 tomorrow. We finally left Tuolumne at 10:45.

The hiking was really no different than any other day, but the scenery on top of Sunshine is different than the East side of the Sierra. It seems smoother. It was cloudy starting at 10... By 1:00 most of the sky was covered in clouds.

Nevertheless we stopped to dry out our stuff since it had rained the night before and Wes was concerned about being cold tonight since he has an old holely sleeping bag that has been losing down the whole trip.

We fought with the sun trying to get our stuff dry for over an hour. We finally got enough sunlight to dry everything out. In the meantime we ate lunch.

During the hike this morning it is nice to see how far we have come. We did our last 500 and 1000 foot climbs without hardly stopping and passing lots of people up – I know, pride.

During the afternoon hike we kept doing ups and downs wondering which hill would be our last up. Also, we heard thunder on and off all afternoon, and it got pretty cloudy but we never got more than just a few drops of rain.

Around 5:00 Andrew tells us that if we stop soon he would forgo trying to climb Half Dome tomorrow. So we searched for a really good camp site with a fire ring and flat spots for our tents and a place for Wesley’s hammock. We found one within two minutes. As a plus it had lots of firewood handy.

Andrew and Wes wanted to make s'mores. They had carried all the ingredients from Tuolumne. On top of that Wes carried a diet coke for me, a surprise! Building the fire was harder than expected because most of the easy wood would not burn. But we finally got the fire going and had a great time eating s'mores. I also pretty well cleaned out my food supply, down to the last Top Ramen. It was a wonderful last night on the trail.

Tomorrow we go home!

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Packing up from the backpacker's camp near Tuolumne grill.
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The Tuolumne grill and store.
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On our way out of Tuolumne for our last full day of hiking.
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Packing up after drying our stuff out at lunch.
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Nearing Sunrise Pass. Afternoon rain on the way again.
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An early camp. We have it made now, so no need to push.
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My last camp.
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Wesley gets to use his hammock for the last time on this trip.
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We try to build a one-match fire. Was just too wet to work.
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Smores!
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Andrew leads the way on making smores.