I arrived at Tuolumne Meadows after 11 easy, flat miles. It was about 10am, and I was expecting my friend Merari to be waiting there as we planned. I got my resupply from the PO and bought an apple while waiting, hoping she was just a little late. Cell service wasn’t really working out, so we couldn’t get a hold of each other. And her phone only works on wifi! Around 3pm I decided I would just hitch a ride into the valley, where there’s service and food. I figured she had changed her mind about driving 6 hours to see me! I’m SO glad I went into Yosemite Valley. The first guy I asked gave me a ride. Turns out he knows my other friend Aubry, who works in the valley (who I also couldn’t got a hold of because she lost her phone). I went right to the grocery store where there was service, hoping to get a call from Merari or something. I sat there until 8pm, and I got a call from a random number and it was her! She was running late and arrived at Tuolumne right after I left. She told me to stay where I was and an hour later she showed up! We were so incredibly happy that everything worked out! It was already dark, so we needed to find a place to stay. However, it was 4th of July weekend so there was literally nowhere to go. I asked an employee where the backpackers camp was and he gave me directions to the regular campground. We left the car and walked to the campground. We showed up and said “F it” and just stealth cowboy camped where we could. I made soup and we talked all night. It was great!
The next morning we woke up at 5:30 to be out before anyone could see us. Turns out we plopped ourselves right in front of the camp host/ranger’s RV… we couldn’t tell in the dark! We packed up and hopped on the shuttle to the Yosemite Falls trailhead. The “hike” was short, but it sure was breath taking.
It was too hot and we were too lazy to go far, so we only went to the lower falls. So beautiful! I would have loved to hike half dome, but getting a permit seemed pretty difficult. I’ll be back!
Later, we decided to hunt down my friend Aubry. After 8 people and a game of telephone, we somehow found her! I asked random employees all over the park. Everyone knew of her, and one ended up being her neighbor! I showed up at her doorstep of her lil cabin and when she opened the door we both flipped! I had only met her once, at a high school party 3 years ago. Merari and I ended up getting a hook up, with a free place to stay (in a real bed!!!), food, and the code to the employee bathrooms (always thankful for a real toilet once in a while!). Aubry, her friends , Merari and I all went back to the river to swim, talk and slack line. Later at the employee community center, was open mike night! Fun time. After, we went to Aubrys and knocked out.
I really like the idea of working in Yosemite. It seems so fun! The people are great and the park is to die for. All seems amazing except 99% of the employees just do drugs and party so the housing area gets a lil crazy. Where are al the cool hippy-dippy sober life healthy veg-heads at?! Regardless, the people were all so incredibly kind and open minded. We had such a fun night.
The next morning was 4th of July, we wanted to leave before the traffic was insane, so we said our thank yous and goodbyes and headed back to Tuolumne around 9. The drive was so amazinf, but it was so hard for us to leave! We wanted to stay longer. I could so easily get stuck there. If I ever disappear, I’m probably in Yosemite valley…
Merari dropped me off at the trail around 2, and I got in about 15 miles. Not bad for a nero. I plan to be in South Lake Tahoe by the 11th, Lindsey’s birthday, so I can FaceTime her while she opens the package I sent her! Pretty stoked.
Sleep time! It’s been an amazing day. I am so genuinely happy.