Great sleep last night. We anticipated issues with deer around keeping us awake, but either they were sneaky, quiet or not around. When we woke up around 6:15, Mace, Tom and Mike were up and getting themselves ready to head to Half Dome. Since we didn’t need an early start, we had a leisurely morning and didn’t leave camp until 7:20.
We decided to hike the Cloud’s Rest loop today which meant that the morning started with a long and steep uphill. Sweetpea got a bit nervous near the top as the stairs went right up to the edge of a cliff. She needs a bit of land or trees between her and the cliff in order to feel comfortable. We got to the top about 10 and the views from the top were amazing…we could see in all directions. It was a clear day and the mountains looked spectacular.
The climb down from Cloud’s Rest made Sweetpea very nervous, as well, and she mostly scooted down on her butt. Luckily, it was a rather short downhill and then we met back up with the regular trail.
It seemed like there was a lot of uphill in the afternoon, but since we only had ten miles today, we didn’t feel rushed. We had lunch and relaxed at the first Sunrise Lake we came to and then headed the last stretch back to the JMT. Mace, Tom and Mike were waiting at the junction when we came down and we all got to catch up on the other group’s day. The guys had a great trip up Half Dome and didn’t meet any other hikers on the cables…super lucky for them!
We decided to camp at the junction, since it seemed to be alright with the High Sierra Camp which is right around here, and there is a water spigot and a privy. There ended up being about forty people camped in this area tonight. We had great views of a nice meadow and the surrounding mountains. Another early night to bed.
Tomorrow we will head to Toulomme Meadows. Once we get there, we’ll decide if we want to camp there or head out another 4 miles. We are really enjoying hiking with Mace, Tom and Mike. It is fun getting to know more about them and hearing about their childhoods. They are great story-tellers and we all laugh a lot.
Daily Miles: 11
Total Miles: 17.6