With the siren call of an amazing hotel room and a very nice town, we decided to stay an extra day at Mammoth Lakes. Lounging around, we explored the stores and continued to stock up on delicious food that didn’t have the consistency of wet cardboard. With plans to visit Yosemite via a relative of Rattles, we were in no rush to organize our next hiking leg. Instead, we exploited our laziness to the full and engaged in activities that required us to merely sit, such as the movies. The next day, Rattles once again worked her magic and got us a late check out. From the hotel we were picked up and driven on a tiki-tour of the surrounding area by our trail angel. Our first stop was Mono Lake, a body of water that, due to the lack of sufficient outflow, has a salinity level two and a half times that of the ocean. It was somewhat surreal to come from high mountains down to a lake in the desert that smelled like the sea. From here we travelled over Tioga Pass into Yosemite National Park. Stopping to admire the expansive views over the valley from the top of the pass, we swept down the other side, covering hundreds of miles by car in an afternoon. A house very kindly provided by Carl, Rattles relative, in Mariposa allowed us to continue to rest weary muscles and a sore knee. From here we had only an hour drive to head back into the park, where we spent the next day exploring sights we never would have seen from the PCT. Half Dome, Bridal Falls, El Capitan and the Ahwahnee Hotel were admired or explored from the bottom. Fortuitously we were right next the wilderness centre at 11 am, and found that we could acquire permits to climb Half Dome the next day. With this in mind, we decided to change our plans and hike up from the valley back to Tuolumne Meadows, with a detour up Half Dome. With good food, cold drinks and the ability to drive to some amazing locations, we were well rested and content after such a long break from hiking. One last time we supped under a roof and within four walls, before heading to bed for an early start.
Miles hiked – 0