Day 11 - Welcome to Yosemite!
With the completion of Donahue Pass (the last JMT pass!!), we
officially entered Yosemite. Quite an exciting moment. Well sort of -
we still had 13 miles to go before getting to Tuolomne Meadows, where
we would start our travels down to Fresno.
We ate some apples and our favorite chips (Kettle honey mustard -
thanks Santosons!) on Donahue so we didn't have to stop on the way
down to eat. Several other thru hikers hung out up top too, cracking
jokes and scaring off marmots the whole time. Good times. Hiking down
the mountain, we hit Lyell Canyon and from there it was a pretty flat
and easy hike all the way out.
We were so looking forward to a burger after 18 miles, however, when
we walked into the grill at 5:05, we were abruptly told they were
closed. You have no idea what it's like to see clean people who
haven't hiked half a mile with big trays of hot French fries, and you
get nothing. We tried to shrug it off and went to the store and got
ourselves two ice cream bars. Not hamburgers, but they would do.
We decided if we were going to hitch down to Yosemite Valley, we
better get started. So we hit the road and before LandShark could even
finish his "to the valley" sign, a nice woman had pulled over. We had
a lovely drive down with Joanna, a Polish woman who has been living in
New York for 7 years. She just quit her corporate law job after
getting tired of working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Who can blame
her?! So she decided to visit the west coast and all the smokey
mountain views it offers. We hope she gets the job at a certain all
powerful company that powers this blog. :)
From there, we found that the last bus out of Yosemite was at 8 pm,
so I sat at the stop with our stuff and LandShark played hunter/
gatherer. After waiting in line at the deli for 5 minutes, he asked
the nice young man what would be the fastest thing to make given our
tight schedule. The answer was chili, so two bowls were ordered. In
the process of trying to fix two bowls of chili, apparently he was
distracted, so another girl asked how she could help. Steve told her
what he was waiting for, and then the manager called her to the back.
At this point, the manager came out and told Steve "no chili for you."
And now it was too late to order anything else. So as you can see from
this picture, two very dirty, hungry and sad thru-hikers boarded the
bus for Merced.
With a recommendation from our bus driver, we were dropped right at
the door of a Motel 6 with a Carl's Jr. that was still open at 11 pm
right next to it. We don't encourage this sort of late night, bad-for-
you-eating, but we're thru hikers, so we do what we want!!
In the morning we caught the train to Fresno, where we were greeted by
mama and papa Bolhorst. We are very excited to spend the next few days
with friends and family!