When I got to Tuolumne Meadows, I checked at the lodge to see if there were any rooms available in the valley that weekend. Jacob was meeting me on Friday night and I wanted to set up a place to stay. There were two rooms in all of the Yosemite valley lodging available for that night so I quickly booked one of them.
I walked down to the store next to pick up my resupply box and have a snack. I also found a park employee who was driving down to the valley and could give me a ride. We had a great conversation on the way down and swapped climbing and hiking stories.
The valley is like Disney world, compared to the remote places I had been. I was nearly overwhelmed by the number of people and cars.
Mostly, I desperately wanted a shower and to do laundry. I found some showers next to a pool and the towel attendant let me in for free, being a hiker himself and understanding the need to be clean. That was great. Next I made my way over to the laundry facility and washed all of my clothes. I felt way better and able to be in public then.
Once it for dark, I headed to the backpacker’s camp and shared a site with a couple from Canada biking up the west coast.
On Friday I had a relaxing day hanging out and people watching. I walked up to lower Yosemite falls and around the lodge area before checking into the room. It was a peaceful day and a great break after the High Sierras.
Jacob made it up that night, bringing with him bounty from our garden which we enjoyed for dinner sitting outside. It was lovely.
On Saturday Jacob and I hiked the Panorama trail, which starts at Happy Isles and goes by some waterfalls then up to glacier point for views of the valley then back down to the valley floor on the four mile trail. It’s about 16 miles long with a lot of climbing. We did this trail several years ago but both agreed that this time it was much easier. We even finished early enough to do a bit of climbing on a short wall near camp 4!
My feet have definitely expanded by half a shoe size because my climbing shoes were quite painful, but I managed to make it up a 5.8 and 5.10a which is pretty good considering it’s been months since I climbed. Jacob did the 10a and an 11a, which was super impressive.
We had planned on climbing one day but then I won the Half dome lottery, giving us permits to climb the cables on Sunday so we did that instead. Neither of us have ever climbed half dome and it was a great day hike. It’s 18 miles round trip with nearly 4,000′ of up, most of which is up the cables to the summit. Most of my pictures are on my camera, but here are a few.
It was an all day hike and after we got back, we had dinner in Curry village then drove up to Tuolumne Meadows where the campground had just opened the night before and we were able to get a spot.
It was absolutely the perfect weekend! Everything went our way and Lady Luck was on our side.