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Tuolumne Meadows Trip

Day 4 of 4

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Sunday, August 16th
Drive home

It got as cold as 44 degrees in the tent this morning. Brrr.

A blue bird snatches a cashew from atop our food storage locker.

We all started packing our stuff up to go. Angie and Cammy got up early and decided to leave while the rest of us were still packing. Lan, Susan, Kane, Daryl, Weihaw, and C.J. decided to let their tents dry out while they hiked to the top of Lembert Dome. Jean and I were done packing early, so we decided to hike along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River.

Along the way we communicated with the Lembert Dome folks via radio. The Lyell Fork hike we did was absolutely beautiful. It starts at the campground, then joins up with the John Muir Trail, following the river for 8 miles to Vogelsang. Of course we didn't have time to do that. We went out a mile and came back.

Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River

When Jean and I came back, we passed by the Lembert Dome folks' camp site. I looked around and I didn't see their tents anywhere! I radioed to them (they were just finishing their hike as well) that bit of news. They didn't seem too concerned, though. I suspected foul play (of a prankish nature).

When they arrived back in camp, they couldn't find their tents. They came over, and Reza and Jennie explained that some strange people had been in their camp and they'd scared them away. Reza said one of them had an eye patch. Jean and I, who'd seen the tents hidden behind the car, were trying not to laugh or say anything. Eventually they noticed the tents, too, and took them back.

Afterwards, Lan came back and said she'd talked to the rangers and told them about the missing tents (pretending not to know they'd been "found."). She's not very good at lying, though. =)

Weihaw and C.J. decided they would drive by Mono Lake on their way to Reno for some buffets. Daryl started the drive back.

Reza and Jean miles apart in Tuolumne Meadows

Flowers in Tuolumne Meadows

The rest of us went to the Visitor Center, then back to the Tuolumne Meadows Grill for some lunch and a short walk out into the meadow. Then it was on to Tenaya Lake for some wading. We spotted some rock climbers on a nearby dome while we were there. Finally, we stopped at Olmstead Point for great views of Half Dome through Tenaya Canyon, Tenaya Lake, and the surrounding area. It would be nice to return to the area for some short hikes. And then we continued our long drive home, of course running into Highway 205 traffic. Back to reality.

Parting Thoughts

I'd never been to Tuolumne Meadows before -- only Yosemite Valley. I have to say that I like Tuolumne Meadows much better. It's more diverse, with lakes everywhere. I admit that I'm not impressed by waterfalls as much as most people seem to be. So the valley really doesn't offer me anything that Tuolumne Meadows doesn't. And it's a lot less crowded.

I'm writing a week later now, and I have to say that I'd rather be climbing mountains. Hiking, camping, being out in nature -- that's all nice. But there's something to be said for climbing mountains. There's a sense of accomplishment that you can't get anywhere else.


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