13 July 2008

Richard went on a bird walk at 8:00 a.m. led by a California State Park ranger.  Richard left the walk early, around 9:20, to head back to the motel to pack up and head to Tuolemne Meadows.

We left the motel around 9:40 and headed up to the Tioga Pass.  We checked in at the campground and got a site.  Tuolemne Meadows campground usually does not fill up until the 15th when the reservations begin.

We decided to go on a hike before we set up the tent.  We went on the Lembert Dome Trail which was close to the campground.  It was supposed to be about 3 miles roundtrip and 850 feet gain in elevation.

The trail was very steep in parts, but was overall an easy hike.  The view from the top provided a 360 degree panoramic view of the high sierra.

We ate snacks at the top.  Then we headed west on the dome to get a good view of the meadow below.

The granite dome has no trail markings on it.  When we went on the return hike, Richard choose a path that descended too quickly and missed the trail.  So we ended up hiking back up the granite dome to find the trail.  This was a bit tiresome because the path back up was about a 30 degree slope.

We got back to the parking lot after 2.5 hours.  We spent 55 minutes getting to the top, 35 minutes at the top, and 50 minutes returning (thanks to the false start returning).

We came back to camp to set up the tent.  Just as we had everything laid out, a hail storm set in.  So we rather quickly finished the tent and dried out the inside.  It rained for over an hour.  Once the rain let up, we fixed some Kung Pao Chicken from a backpacker’s meal kit and ate around 6:30 p.m.

After supper, we went to the ranger program at 8:00 p.m.  It was on cayotes.  The ranger, Joanna Cooke, did a good job presenting information that was interesting to a wide span of ages.  She used the roadrunner cartoons as a unifying theme for the presentation.

We returned to the tent afterward and got ready for bed.

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