Lyell Footbridge in Yosemite Mile 932 to Tuolumne Meadows Mile 942, Day 0, to Trailside Mile 958 to Rancheria Campground Mile 958
The 10 miles to Tuolumne on Friday morning were fairly expectedly longer than expected. I've come to learn that 10 miles will seem like nothing if you're close to town, but those miles tend to drag so much longer than the average 10 miles! Also, sometimes the flat and easy seems to drag on forever. We made it to the store and Post Office around 11:30 and bumped into some old friends - Buff, Happy Hour, Squeaks, Grande Burrito, and a few others. We bought a pint of ice cream and a 6 pack of beer to share among the 3 of us and toasted Jon's successful trip from Mammoth, picked up mail, then quickly headed out to Yosemite Valley for our planned meetup with Gail, Brett's Mom. I had all kinds of goodies waiting for me in the mail! Shya and Renee sent a fabulous birthday package complete with baked goods, temporary tattoos, and backpack flair, my uncle sent a really great card, and my former coworker the hilarious Steve sent the 3rd of a number of letters to me. What a treat! They made my day.
Gail and Jon treated us to dinner in the dining room at the Ahwahnee Hotel - so amazing and delicious! The dining room looks like the great hall from the Harry Potter movies, it was so grandiose and majestic! They brought a few of our bottles of Ridge from home and we enjoyed them with our various plates of pork, steak, or lamb. I almost forgot what foodies we are at home! These days a fancy dinner consists of something you have to actually SIMMER in boiling water before letting it sit and digging in. At the end of the meal, they brought birthday cupcakes out for Jon and I, and Brett ordered the "red velvet cake for 2". For 2 was no joke! The slice was probably a foot tall and wider than his head - even I was a little surprised he managed to finish the whole thing on his own!
The time went too fast, and the next thing I knew it was time to check out - of course no laundry was done and I'd only completed a fraction of my correspondence, chores, etc. There's never enough time in towns! Jon and Gail headed back home and Brett and I hit up the market in the valley to tackle resupply until Echo Lake, and then hopped on the bus back to Tuolumne Meadows. As we got on the bus, who should shout out our trail names but the one and only Sour Cream?! He had planned to meet his Dad in Yosemite but his Mom also flew out to surprise him and hike with him as well, so we had the pleasure of getting to know both of them. It was so great and refreshing to see Sour Cream after so much time, and fun to catch up on his time in the Sierra. As the bus pulled into Tuolumne I looked out the window to see none other than Rocky and T-Rex also! Finally seeing our friends again is such a game changer!
Our plan was to hit the trail right away, but of course that wasn't about to happen after catching up with so many friends. Brett and I decided to stay at the Tuolumne Lodge for a good night's rest in one of their tent cabins. Hit the trail the following morning and moved slowly after realizing that we drank beer the previous night but never bothered with dinner. It was a rough day, and our extended relaxing ever since we arrived in Mammoth took its toll. We caught up to Rocky, TRex and KingStrett the next day and hiked with them in the afternoon - it's sooo good to be with trail friends again! And home friends get here in just 2 days!