Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Donaghue Pass - 12 miles to meet Sienna and co

Headed out from Donaghue Pass at 6am. Early start to catch up with Sienna. After an hour of descending we had a bit of breakfast and then I split with Amtrak and ran ahead. I hiked with Lotto a bit but as the trail got easy enough to run, I took off. It was delightful for a while but I was soon too tired to do anything but fast walk, dig in the poles and grit the teeth.

On the way down I chatted to a scout leader who told me a bear cub had got the food they had hung that night. This was all a bit silly since the bear hang was very poor and they also had bear canisters. I had followed bear cub prints for a while so I wasnt surprised to hear the stories. I could also see someone ahead had been hiking barefoot - which also turned out to be a scout leader. There is a $150 fine for hanging food in Yosemite now so leaving it in the tree is particularly dim.

I reached Tuolumne about 10:50 but then realized it was very spread out. After going about a mile the wrong way (top the lodge) I got the bus back to the store. Nobody there. I got another bus to the visitor centre (not there) and another bus back to the store. I finally found them all. I saw the TSR stricker on Sienna's car reflected in the window of the bus and jumped off. I then saw Chris and Rich and their motorbikes and the others from GE - Carole, Barbera, Stephan and his family, Steven and his family and the rest. Really nice to see them all again.

We did a little walk to soda springs where I tasted the "naturally carbonated" water (unadvised by sign posts). It tasted like Iron and not very fizzy. I then headed back to the Store for more food and to sit around chatting with Amtrak. Sienna and the crowd went off for Junior Ranger training before we met up sometime after 4 and headed for the campsite some 45 minutes across the other side of Yosemite.

I spent 45 minutes on the phone to Verizon after a girl working in a cafe told me she had her Verizon phone switched to analogue and it worked there. My phone, it turns out, should automatically switch to analogue if a signal is available but, it doesn't. My phone has been pretty hopeless the whole trip. Cingular is the service to get for the PCT!!!

Camping was GREAT, although the park service campsite was awfully hilly (we'd never camp somewhere like that in the wilderness!). What was GREAT was seeing everyone, having a couple of beers and eating the salad and other stuff Sienna had bought for me.

We sat together to eat, at a long table and the guys asked me lots of questions about the trip and all kinds of chatting.

At 10am a ranger came by to check our food storage. Unusual. Someone asked, "are you expecting bears?" he said, "they are already here!".


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