Seahawk and Bee left early, determined to blow through Tuolumne and make it a 20 mile day. I promised to have lunch with Any Minute and Kapiko in Tuolumne Meadows, a nice 8 mile walk from camp. We all had boxes coming there and wanted burgers and beer. After a couple miles, I ran into Terrence and Philip having coffee. We caught up, shot the shit, and I introduced them to Any Minute and Kapiko when they appeared around the corner.
After we started walking again, an animal crossed the trail; we decided by concensus that it must have been an otter. T, P and I pulled ahead and saw another critter across a swampy meadow. Badger. They wanted a photo, so I plunged across the dry areas toward the badger, camera in hand. I only got a blur by a tree in the picture, but it was a nice diversion.
A mile from our cheeseburgers, a young park service employee stopped us for a permit and bear can check. After passing the test, Terrence wondered aloud if she knew she was keeping us from food. We weaved through the Yosemite side trails, used phone apps and maps, and finally reached the store and grill. There were burgers and beer(s), the plural of which is still contested between myself and the Canadians. People started receiving packages. Mine, mailed from Mammoth right before July 4, was missing.
7/7, I decided to go down to Yosemite Valley on the inconvenient shuttle. One ride out at 9 or so, one ride back at 4 or so. There was no phone or internet service in Tuolumne due to a landslide, and I hoped to check my email for tracking info on my package and order a few items online for future delivery. Tink #1 was also on the bus, on her way home due to injury, and we talked about the significance of our journey on the way. Sad to see such a thoughtful and strong hiker leave.
My day was spent trying to use internet at the little library, standing in line for food, chatting with a moron from Ohio while charging my phone, and writing postcards. I'd said my goodbyes to all the folks at Tuolumne, but when I returned, they'd all stayed the day as well. And multiplied. I had plenty of time to talk with my new friends over a campfire. Joining the party were Church Lady, Dr Fierce, Shazaam, Chris and Sarah.
Next morning, Any Minute, Far Out, Kapiko and a few others headed out. I waited for the 10am mail delivery. Still no package. I filled out a forwarding form and decided to resupply instead from the hiker box. Luckily, Space Age, Tink#2 and Screagle walked in and helped me scout the box all day. I got a full resupply for less than $30 by just waiting for overloaded JMT hikers to dump their stuff.