Wednesday, August 04, 2010
My 793 Mile Adventure
That's how many miles I drove in 39 hours. Saw some of the most beautiful parts of California during my drive: Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake, Mammoth Mountain, the Easter Sierra Nevada, Mt. Whitney, Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley with all of its waterfalls and high peaks.
I got to Lone Pine several hours before Mark and Julia were due so took myself out for dinner at a local restaurant that turned out to be pretty decent. A friend from the Bay area, Mary Sue and her husband, were dining at the same restaurant. These are the types of coincidences that just amaze me. Mary Sue, Denny and a friend are doing a week-long backpacking trip. We had a great chat.
Mark, Julia and Zoey arrived around 8. It took many trips to unload their car. They've been on the road since July 6th; in that time they have been in Evergreen, Boulder and Durango, Colorado. Mark played a concert in both Boulder and Durango; Julia played in Durango. Zoey the dog just hung out at all of those places.
Tuesday morning Julia and Mark took both cars to the trailhead for Mt. Whitney, which is where they will end their adventure and pick up their car. We loaded up Kerry's Honda Element with all their stuff including her French horn and his trumpets.
If any of you out there are hikers you should know that they are "ultralight" backpackers. The pack that each carried, including food in a bear cannister, weighed 20 pounds. Mark sewed all of the sleeping bags, tent and other travel essentials from incredibly lightweight material. You can cover a lot more ground when you don't have 60 pounds on your back.
We stopped in Mammoth Lakes at the post office to drop off food for one re-supply point. Did the same thing in Tuolumne Meadows. They had mailed food from Durango to the other re-supply points. Entering Yosemite Valley is a lot like entering a cathedral. Waterfalls were still running but not the spring gushing. Still a fair amount of snow at higher elevations.
They got their wilderness permit and then suited up for the adventure. Zoey and I left them in Yosemite Village about 4:30 and headed back to Lincoln. I was very glad to be home. She was the perfect passenger. Harleen, however, is not sure she's the perfect playmate. Zoey prefers people to dogs. Oh well, they willl figure it out.
The photo was taken just before we parted company in Yosemite Village. I had Mark take his hat off so everyone could see his shaved head. That tonsorial event occurred last night after I went to bed. When they finally get to their car in 23-24 days, they are heading directly to a motel to shower for hours. That's a long time to go without one. They are both seasoned hikers in great shape so I have no worries about their safety. Besides the John Muir Trail is very well traveled in the summer. And in the past, Mark has shown that he knows how to be rescued by helicopters. Let's hope this is a no helicopter adventure.