Distance walked- miles 14.6 61.7
Gross climb- feet. 500 13,100
Gross descent- feet. 3720 13,100
Net climb-feet. -3220 -
Song of the day: When the man comes around, by Johnny Cash, quoting from the book of Matthew
So the last shall be first, and the first last
(by the way, The American Recordings series by Johnny Cash in the late 90's and early 2000's is just an outstanding group of albums that I strongly recommend!).
Today was a mirror image of the 2nd day's walk up to Merced Lake. Exactly the same paths, although it is quite amazing how different something looks when you are going the other way! Of course, it also helps that the path today was mostly downhill!
At breakfast today, there was much discussion about the hiker who cramped up on trail yesterday. Apparently he had to spend the night out in the wilderness. When we were leaving camp this morning, two guys who were part of the group of the cramped hiker (CH) passed us and said they were going to help the guy. A couple of miles out, we ran into CH along with a couple of other people. Linda and Corey spent some time talking to these guys, and apparently two doctors who were hiking came upon CH along the trail. The Doctors offered CH some of their food and also a sleeping bag to rest in. The Doctors ended up spending the night on the trail with CR! Linda said that CR told her that the Doctor's truly saved his life! Quite an inspiring story. Later we passed a two coming up the trail on horses, and they also had an extra horse. We think that this extra horse was going to be used to take CH back down the trail.
About 3 miles into the hike, Rod caught up with us and walked down the rest of the way. Along the way, we stopped at Nevada Falls and took our shoes and socks off to soak our feet in the cold stream. Man did that feel good! It was a great hike today, and took us about an hour less than the exact hike up to Merced Lake a few days earlier. That's the difference between going uphill vs downhill...
We truly enjoyed this hike and we having early discussions about doing something similar again next year. The Yosemite lottery submissions are due by November, so we will need to figure out dates, etc.
Post Script: about a week after we finished this hike, fires broke out in Yosemite, in exactly the same place that we hiked into Merced Lake and back to the Valley this last day. 1000 people had to to be airlifted out of Yosemite. We have kidded that it would have been a great way to get a free helicopter ride over Yosemite!