Day 1: Tuolumne Meadows

PCT Mile 942.5 to 958.4

Miles Hiked = 15.9

Yesterday Donna and I drove to Mammoth Lakes and spent the night. We enjoyed dinner in the Village.This morning we were up early and arrived at the PCT where it passes through Tuolumne Meadows about 8am. It only took a few minutes to unload all my gear and get my pack ready. After a big hug and kiss, Donna was on her way back home – it would take her about seven hours. She was so disappointed that she couldn’t join me on this section hike☹️. But she has been so great in supporting me on this journey. I’m already looking forward to seeing her in nine days in South Lake Tahoe!

As I took my first few steps I wondered what adventures I would experience in the next seven weeks.

And then I realized that unless you take that first step, you will never know. So hear I go.

Within a few minutes I passed these deer enjoying their morning breakfast along the Tuolumne River.

Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows are some of my favorite places to visit. The granite walls and domes, waterfalls, lush green meadows and cascading rivers are just special. I never get tired of spending time here!

I crossed this bridge after a few miles of hiking – the walkway was under water about one month ago because of all the snowmelt.

And then I passed by Tuolumne Falls – very spectacular and still a lot of water falling over the edge.

The first day back on the trail is always difficult. My pack is always at its heaviest and I was at sea level twenty-fours hours ago. It always takes a few days to acclimatize to a higher altitude. I was above 8000 feet all day today and am camping at 9500 feet. Today I could tell that I wasn’t that strong.

I was happy to see that there was no snow on the trail – at least for today. I did have to wade across three streams in the late afternoon (miles 956, 956.2 and 957.3) but they were all easy crossings and the water was never above my knees. I hoping it stays like this.

It was warm today – felt like it was close to 80 degrees – that will certainly help melt any remaining snow in the higher mountains.

The mosquitos are out – they weren’t too bad as long as I was moving but when I stopped the would come in for my blood. I had to put my net on at camp tonight.

I’m glad I have a tent!

Thanks for following and keep those messages coming – they help me stay connected and keep motivated!

10 thoughts on “Day 1: Tuolumne Meadows

  • Todd, the pictures are beautiful! You are amazing and so strong to be able to do what you do! You inspire us all. Enjoy and continue to write and send pictures!


  • Hello Toddy! The streams and falls are beautiful, (your feet must always be wet) so much water! When I looked at your trail head pictures I instantly smelled the familiar outdoor scent of that gorgeous area. Thinking of you, Stacy


  • Hey Todd, nice pics. But where is the pizza and beer.
    Looks like your Garmin #’s are a little off on the website. Thought you were moving a little slow. It has you taking shortcuts and cutting trail. Have fun. We are doing beer and El Moro today.


  • Those are some spectacular photos of the scenery (I’m including Donna in this description also)! What an amazing place to start a hike – so different from the first part. I’m going to send a book (paperback) to you via Donna when I’m finished reading it. It’s called The Fellowship of Ghosts by Paul Watkins and just so happens to be on the Nat Geo reading list for the arctic trip. It’s by a man who hiked the fjords of Norway with what seems like much less equipment than you have. He normally writes fiction but this is one of 2 nonfiction books he has written. I’m enjoying reading it while I sit on the beach in Delaware in 85-90 degree weather.


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