Summer Sierra Storms

July 20, 2020


Rise and shine! We have hiking to do!

I’m forgetting now (since I’m writing this a month later and backfilling all my missed blogs over the last month) how cold the nights got.. but somewhere in the 40s. The tent was warm, especially inside down bags (not to mention there were three of us in a small space exhaling hot air. But, wow, as the sun started rising and warming everything up, it was shirt sleeves by about 8am.

Here’s Jim by the river that ran besides our camp spot…


Coffee and oatmeal and granola and apples…


Staying outside the park meant driving in through the Tioga gate daily, which was a bit of an ordeal — which is to say it was slow-going as the whole park entry procedure was adapted for covid purposes — and usually took us 15-30 minutes.

But, we also got to enter the park through the Tioga gate.. and that’s pretty sweet because you get this outstanding start to your day..


(Though… are you noticing those clouds building already?)

On our first hiking day, we had to pay homage to our beloved Tuolumne Meadows tent cabins.  I admit to begin apprehensive about seeing them in their down state.

For good reason:


That’s the lodge! Yikes..

And here’s Peter actually climbing up to the roof of the kitchen.. this shot taken from inside the lodge looking up through the ceiling..


We figured we’d get our annual cabin shot. Here are Jim and Peter on sitting on the stoop of our favorite cabin #5…


It’s both pathetic and brilliantly traditional. Look for it on a Christmas card…

Here are a pair of lovely shots of Pothole Dome one down the meadow, the other close up. Hardly any cars on the road. The popular trailheads had lots of folks, but only hikers were around .. not the drive through folks



We decided to climb up to Cathedral Lakes from the lower Cathedral lake drainage, starting at Tenaya Lake. It was strange because there was hardly anybody at the lake — usually that’s one of the larger gathering places for summer visitors to the Tuolumne Meadows part of the park. So.. a quiet, empty lake:


Peter starting out on the trail..


A great shot of Pywiak Dome..which Peter climbed with Toren, Meredith and Toren’s dad last summer.


And then, off trail, in the drainage, heading up the slabs:


Looking back toward Tenaya Lake, and you can see a bit of Pywiak on the right..


The clouds were ominous, we started hearing thunder, seeing lightning…


We kept going and go fairly close to the lake..but then the drops started.. hiked most of the way back in a light rain… light enough to eat lunch by the lake.  It was a 6-mile day.. good enough for a first day’s acclimation, though we’d have liked to spend a lot more time exploring areas up by the lakes. Also… we saw a couple families around Tenaya, but not a soul after that.

By the time we set up for dinner, the rain had stopped.

Peter and I had our nightly gin rummy and appetizers.. and Turkovich’s The Boss.


This was a beans (baked) and rice (Lundberg’s parmesan) night. Lots of reading and a good night’s sleep.





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