I was up and gone before anyone noticed. With only three bars left to eat I had to get to Red’s Meadow for a proper breakfast, and I did. The walk was easy, all down hill, but very dusty. I saw a black bear about 50m away and when he saw me he ran, like really ran. I could hear his foot steps on the soft ground from that far away and he was a heavy one. I know now I’d have no chance of getting away from one of those.
At Red’s I went and claimed my food bag from the bear-proof box near the ranger station then waited around as other hikers drifted in. I queued with a crowd of kids from the Youth Conservation Corps (in the valley building a viewing platform for Devils Postpile) to use the free hot-spring showers. They were good and I got mostly clean. Tourist was getting back on the trail after being sick for nearly a week.
Along with Mosey the four of us checked in at Motel 6 and set about the usual town duties of food, laundry, resupply, internet and putting one’s feet up. It was as we wandered along main street looking for ice cream that someone spotted Tourist. She looked exhausted. The kind of exhausted when I’m afraid to say much in case it’s the wrong thing and she’d burst into tears. I didn’t and she didn’t, Angelhair took her pack and walked her to the motel where she is now quarantined. She had been traveling with a bunch of others that got really sick, including Neighbor-J who actually got air-lifted off the mountain, and hadn’t made it more than a couple of hours that morning.
More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Muir Pass to Reds MeadowDistance today: 7.8 miles. Total distance: 905.6 miles