y o s e m i t e, pt 4
we checked in at the merced lake camp lodge. we drank from their tin of lemonade. we bought mosquito netting in anticipation of the next day’s hike to Vogelsang HSC as the rumor was it rivaled Sunrise camp for mosquito infestation. We stumbled back to our tent. There was no one else in it but we didn’t think our luck would last, surely someone else must be coming. We stopped at the lodge, en route to the facilities, and asked. We couldn’t believe it. There had been several cancellations and we would have the tent-cabin to ourselves that night. We took blissfully hot showers and hand-washed some items in the laundry. We stumbled back to our tent, in a fog of exhaustion, collapsing on our cots. I fell immediately into a deep nap.
I woke some time later. Since we still had a couple hours before dinner I laid there and finished Dog Years, weeping through the last third. My resolve was broken by the hike sure, but the writing was lovely and – dealing w/ the death of a golden retriever – made me ache for Maxwell.
At dinner we sat w/ an older couple from Arizona. Turns out they live in the city where Margaret’s father was born. I had the fish, Margaret was the sole vegetarian in the camp, which seemed odd in this day and age. After dinner we walked along the edge of Merced Lake.
We played scrabble by candlelight in the tent, taking intermittent sips from our flask. We discussed tomorrow’s hike, both of us fearing the 3100 ft elevation gain. Today’s hike was a 2250 ft descent and it destroyed us. Granted it was 10 mi (and the trip’s longest hike) and tomorrow was 7 but the way our legs and shoulders felt was unpleasant to say the least. We hoped for the best, expected the worst….