936 (Evelyn Lake Trail) to 942 (Tuolumne Meadows)
I felt drawn to return to the stretch of the PCT along the Lyell River Canyon. Like returning to the scene of the crime. Maybe I would have a major insight about why I got the stress fracture if I returned. It was the last section I did back in June before I got off the trail for my injured foot. I vividly remember hobbling along in incredible pain, especially the last 6 flat miles. Shooting stabs of pain, heartbreak that I was having to get off the PCT due to injury. So I re-hiked this stretch of the PCT today, hoping for a flash of insight.
|Along the Lyell River.|
A guy who had southbounded a few years ago asked me how my hike has been different for the 250 miles I’d been hiking south, compared to the 940 I hiked north with the thru hikers. There has been a huge difference. Hiking south I see fewer people, there aren’t trail angels around, stores aren’t open, the sun is in my eyes. The other southbounders seem more independent and most of them have skipped sections of trail and it doesn’t seem to matter to them that they haven’t walked every inch of the PCT in one year. But of course I’m generalizing. Really there is a huge diversity of other hikers around- rather than being surrounded by people that say they are all hiking from Mexico to Canada, everyone out here has a different story and is hiking different sections and are out for different periods of time. Rather than being united by being on a journey of the same length, we are all united because we are out here TODAY. That is what is important- that we are out here right now, right here.
Steph picked me up in Tuolumne Meadows and we headed down to the Yosemite Valley for lunch. Stepping into a different world. Tourists from all over the world strolling around. After over a week without a shower, dressed in dirt, I dined at the splendid Ahwahnee Hotel. Delicious! What an experience I felt so lucky to have woken up on a quiet hillside in the woods, and then to be eating in a gorgeous place surrounded by wood beam and artwork.
|At least Steph brought me a clean shirt.|
|Lots of people enjoying Yosemite Valley even with the smoke.|
|Dry Yosemite Falls.|