Friday, October 10, 2014

August 30 Merced Lake to Voglesang

                                                              Current Day.                           Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles                                    9.8                                      36.8

Gross climb- feet.                                           4150                                  11,500

Gross descent- feet.                                        1250                                    5,300

Net climb-feet.                                                2900                                    6,200

Song of the Day-  Visit to Mother Nature Land by the Rascals

Can you see the sun a shining there, on the waterfalls?

All the leaves and the flowers and the forest so so beautiful 

I would like to take you there

Our hike today took us from Merced Lake at an altitude of 7,200 feet to Voglesang Camp at 10,200 feet.  Linda mentioned that she had a slight headache from the altitude and Corey was short of breath on some of the steeper climbs.  

This morning, we started the day with a terrific breakfast at the Merced Camp.  Just as we were getting ready to leave the camp, the group who are traveling on horses left in front of us.  Damn, for the first several miles we had to eat the dust and smell the fresh poop of the their horses and the donkey train traveling with them!

On our walk today, a young man passed us with 3 large backpacks on his back and wearing no shoes!  Later we learned that this guy runs some sort of service that carries people's backpacks to the next stop.   Sitting across from us at dinner were two of the women who hired this guy to carry their packs at a cost of $200.   Yes, today was a challenging hike, but jeez, $200?!

Along the way, we stopped for lunch at a lake along the way.  The camps sell sandwiches for lunches and they were quite good.   

The walk today was quite difficult in places, with very rocky surfaces and steep climbs:

Vogelsang camp is smaller than Merced Lake, with something like 40 beds, compared to 64 at Merced.  Unfortunately, there are no showers at Voglesong, so we will have to wait until tomorrow night to clean up.  There is however a stream beside the camp and we cleaned our feet and legs in the ice cold stream.  

The horse people are with us in the Vogelsang camp tonight.  Once again at dinner, several of them were drinking wine that the donkey's brought for them!  The dinner this evening was great-  steak, potatoes, soup, salad, chocolate cake.  

Tonight we are sharing our 4 person tent with a 75 year old woman from Nashville named Evelyn.  She has entertained us with many tales of her adventures, including mountain climbing using ropes, climbing on ice, long hikes in the desert, etc.  She is hiking Yosemite by herself this week, then next week she is climbing mount Whitney (14,000 feet) next week with one of her sons!  Unfortunately, Evelyn was a very, very loud sleeper.  She snored, coughed, talked in her sleep and got up to go to the bathroom 4 or 5 times during the night, slamming the door to the tent each time.  One time, she banged her face on a shelf next to her bed and cried out in pain!  It was a terrible night's sleep. 

On Sunday,  we are heading back to Merced Lake.  We are taking a different route back- a little longer and over Vogelsang pass at an altitude of almost 11,000 feet.   But most of the hike will be downhill.  These first three days have been mostly uphill, with a total climb approaching 12,000 feet.   I think we can all feel it in our legs.

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