Day 116 - 7/23/18 (flip SOBO from Ashland, OR to Lone Pine, CA).
July 26, 2018
Mile 942.50 to 936.45 for 6.05 miles. Total PCT miles 1524.79. Elevation gain of 327 ft and loss of 58 ft. Camp is just outside the “no camping zone” around Tuolumne Meadows at an elevation of 8826 ft. The grill opened at 8 so we got breakfast which consisted of powdered eggs, some type of potatoes, shaved ham and a biscuit for $10.50 each. The post office hours are 9-5, but they were not open at 9 and when I inquired was told they work on Tuolumne time. After my third inquiry at 9:30 someone at the stored called the postmaster who arrived shortly thereafter. We got our resupply box and new shoes, went back to our tent site, sorted stuff and created a box to mail home since we decided to do a resupply in Mammoth Lakes. We then got lunch and started hiking at 12:30. By 2:30 it was thundering and lightning and raining hard. We sat under a tree for awhile but were getting soaked so hiked to the nearest tent site. Trees here do not provide much cover. Thus far on the trip the rain has lasted only about an hour and is not too heavy. However, this rain is very hard and is lasting for several hours. The trail was nice as it meandered through large open valleys with grass meadows, light timber and granite alongside Lyell Creek. We passed a trail crew using power tools to shape granite for the trail and winch systems to move the granite into place. Just before it started raining we ran into Mango who we had not seen since shortly after Idyllwild at the “faucet” by Hwy 10 where she twisted her ankle chasing her tent in high winds. As I write this we can barely hear each other speak because the thunder is so loud as is the rain which is misting through our tents rainfly and body. We feel the vibrations of the thunder beneath our tent. Our packs, trekking poles and sit pads are floating in puddles of water under the vestibules of our tent. By about 8pm the rain, thunder and lightning has stopped and the pooling water under our tent is receding. We are now in a thick fog. It will be a late start tomorrow as we will need to dry things out. We had snacks for dinner in lieu of cooking.