From Tuolumne Meadows to
Donohue Pass
I really enjoyed this part of the hike. I was feeling good with a lot
more energy, my pack was lighter, I had less people to worry
about, and I got to start fishing.  We  hiked along Lynell Creek
where the water was so clear that you could see the bottom in the
deep places like it was shallow.  The exciting thing for me was that
I could also see all of the Brook Trout swimming  around.  During
our lunch break I grabbed my fishing pole and a #4 brass Panther
Martin lure and headed for the stream. On my first cast I had the
Brookies fighting over the lure, and I was so excited I pulled it
away from all of them. In the next 5 minutes I caught 6 fish I could
have fished all day, but went back to the others and we headed
down the trail. We saw several deer along the trail, but the most
exciting thing was when we heard a pack of coyotes howling and yelping for
several minutes. We stopped and listened and looked back in the direction from
where the noise was coming but never saw any thing from that direction.  The
trail was the easiest that we had been on so far. It just followed the river for a
few miles. There were some swampy places, and one tricky river crossing, which
was easy if you didn't cross for a while and walked across the tree like Tom,
Geoff and Emily did.  Lisa and I sought a little more excitement and waded
across. It was very common for the river to spread out and flow over a smooth
rock surface like in picture 20.  (21) We stopped for lunch, the river is behind us
                                                                                                     about 100 yds.
                                                                                                     The trail was
                                                                                                     easy walking
                                                                                                     as you can
                                                                                                     see from
looking at the trail in front of us in the picture. There was a water
fall to our left that came clear down the mountain side. (22) After  
9 miles we started uphill. We climbed only 300 feet in elevation in
the 9 miles,
then in the next
1 1/2 miles we
climbed 700 ft.
#23 shows Lisa
and Emily going
up the switch
backs, and #24
is a look back at
the winding river
we had hiked by
in the valley.
Tom, being the
fastest still, and
having a threat of rain, decided we should camp at a clearing 200
feet short of the Lynell Fork Bridge.  We all agreed and set up
camp. Lisa, Emily and I were sharing a tent, and Tom and Geoff
had not set theirs up yet. I went fishing in the stream next to us. It
was steep and fast, but I caught some Brook trout that ended up
supplementing our dinner of same old, same old. We were
watching as a big rain storm came in and tried to drown us. We
decided to all pile in our tent and we played cards until the rain
stopped an hour or so later.  Four other groups of hikers came
and camped within a 1/4 mile of us. Tom and Geoff still had not
set up their tent, hoping it would clear up so they could sleep out
under the stars.  By morning they were in their tent. #25 is a water
fall that was near by.  It is about 15 feet high.  There was a lot of
water running down it because of all of the rain we had been
having.  My fish total now was 19, most of which I set free to get
caught another
day.  We got up
early and were
on the trail by
7:30. We hoped
to get  the three
miles and 1400
foot climb done
to Donohue Pass
by before we ate
breakfast.  I did
not have that
many calories
stored up in my
body, so I ate
snacks all of the
way.  We were
not the smartest
hikers on this morning. We
came to the stream you can
see in the background of #26
and thought we could get
around it on a snowbank,
which doesn't show in his
picture.  We got across the
snowbank OK, but then still had to cross the water from the snow runoff. We
then had to climb up the boulders you can see going down the hill side from
where Lisa is standing. Another hiker got to the water the same time we did. He
crossed there and was gone over the mountain top long before us.  We
decided we wasted a lot of time trying not to get wet. The trail was flooded a
couple of switchbacks higher than what you see in #26.  Lisa dropped her
trekking pole in the water and it washed down hill about 10 feet. She hurried
and retrieved it, but it had gone way deep in a water fall. We hiked up over the
ridge and around to the left, down a slope  and then got to cross another
stream as shown in pictures 27 (Emily), 28 (Lisa), and 29 (Geoff with Tom
taking his picture).  We hiked back up a slope and through a meadow filled
with small animals of several different kinds.  We filled out water containers
there and proceeded up to the top of the top of Donohue Pass. The trail works
                                                               its way up above the timber line and
                                                               across a small snow bank or two and
to                                                              you are on the top.   
Donohue Pass is interesting. It is the
boundary between the Yosemite National
Park and the Inyo National Forest. I had
expected a sign or something saying we
were at Donohue Pass, but nope.  
Picture 30 is looking toward Tuolumne Meadows, picture 31 is towards Reds
Meadows and the Ansel Adams Wilderness.  The elevation is 11056, and we had
gone 36.7 miles since the start in Yosemite Valley.  We sat down and ate breakfast.
It was our usual granola with powdered milk in it.  There was some melting snow
next to us so we could wash up and refill water. By the time we were ready to leave there were four other groups sitting up there,
soaking up some sun.  We have had rain every day so far, but not yet today.  It looked like the valley was getting nailed as we sat
there.  Emily's knees were giving her some trouble. She had warned us when she decided to go that this might be the case. She
was sore enough that we were concerned. The rest of us seemed OK.  I had completely recovered from my infection, the only
problem that I was having was eating things which would get stuck in the hole where my tooth used to be. Trail mix was brutal.  I
decided that I shouldn't eat it, and then I got first choice on the granola bars in the mornings so I could get the ones that required
less chewing.  I was having a blast and was looking forward to the whole trip. The thought had crossed my mind wondering if I would
get tired of such a long trip. I was really looking forward to the whole trip.We headed towards Garnet Lake where we hoped to sleep.
JMT Trip Pictures
Hiking From:
JMT Trip Pictures
Hiking From: