This advice from the Dalai Lama was on a magnetic sign stuck to a bear box in the backpackers’ campsite in Tuolumne Meadows, where David and I stayed the night before we set out on the trail for Clouds Rest.
It was a long and beautiful climb, with a slightly nerve-wracking bit at the end described as a “knife edge.” It wasn’t quite that perilous, but I didn’t look down on that part of the trail.
I loved that this hiker made tea at the top, setting out these festive red cups. At 9,926 feet, this nicety seemed especially pleasing.
The day was glorious and clear, so we had the full 360 degree view from the summit. Evidently, on some days the clouds do indeed rest on the top of the mountain and obscure everything, so we were lucky.
On our last backpacking trip to Ten Lakes I loaded up my pack with too much food and clothing. My determination not to make the same mistake meant that I was hungry and cold some of the time, but that was better than staggering under the weight of a too-heavy pack.
We laughed at the campers pictured on this dehydrated meal package—so clean and jolly!
These ginger candies are said to help prevent altitude sickness. Both of us had slight bouts of nausea, headache, and light-headedness, but not too bad.
We didn’t encounter a single bear on the trail or in our campsites, even though the ranger warned us before we set out that the trail to Clouds Rest is “an active bear corridor.” However, after four days when we got back down to the trailhead, we saw that a bear had investigated our car. No doubt, he or she was looking for eats but thankfully went on without breaking in.
Running water, clean clothes, and a comfortable bed are always a welcome part of getting back to civilization. Not so the barrage of terrible news after a week of a complete media blackout. To “be stoked” in such discouraging times, I’ll create a haven in my mind with the memory of this alpine meadow.