Views from the top heading to Raisin Lake We slept much better at Glen Aulin than we did at Tuolomne Meadow. I attribute it to the warmer evening (still hit 39 degrees) and fewer people. That said, we still didn’t get out of our bags until 7am and it took us forever to get dressed, eat, pack up camp and get on the road. No matter how many times we do this, we are always slow. We got on the trail around 9am again.
Day 2 was definitely more effort than Day 1. It was just over 8 miles and nearly 2,000 feet of climbing, but wasn’t all that bad really. The first four miles were forested and meandering. We walked by a small, marshy lake and as we climbed upwards had a couple of points where the trees opened up and we were able to take in views of the mountain ranges. At about the fifth mile we started to work. The trail was exposed and hot (I think it hit 90 that day) but the views were awesome. Along the main stretch we noticed smoke across the valley and decided either someone was in trouble or there was a forest fire. Fortunately someone else had also noticed it and a helicopter carrying a bucket passed overhead within the next couple of hours. Raisin Lake
The views from the highest point that day were really pretty. We weren’t quite sure what we were looking at, although in retrospect they could have easily been the Cathedral range. From there we dropped down to pretty Raisin Lake. Raisin Lake is a little glacial lake that really reminded me of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon. Sitting there while we enjoyed our lunch brought back so many memories of my childhood.
After lunch we just had 1.5 miles to go. It was mostly up but we were acclimating to the elevation and it wasn’t all that bad. We arrived at May Lake just before 3pm. We scored a sweet campsite in the center of the backpackers’ camp (aka grand central station) that didn’t have any tree cover. It was warm enough that evening we didn’t need our rainfly and we were able to watch the persied meteor shower without having to get out of bed!
With it being as hot as it was and with a campsite looking out onto the lake, we of course had to go for a swim. Which, as luck would have it, was followed by a shower. May Lake was our first experience with eating at the adjacent high sierra camp and for those who pay the big bucks for the meals, you also get a shower. It was a pretty sweet deal!
May Lake The High Sierra Camps serve dinner at 6:30pm each night and each camp is distinctly different from the other. May Lake was pretty “normal”. The staff were friendly and artistic. Our sack lunches the following morning were in decorated paper bags. And they called the guests to dinner with a conch shell. They also served a pretty mean meal. Thursday night the camps serve pork. May Lake opted for pulled pork and it was preceded by homemade bread and a real salad! Accompanying the pork were roasted potatoes and green beans, followed by carrot cake. Everything was delicious. And they say the cook often works at the Awhanee.
After dinner we hiked up to the lookout beyond the camp and watched the sun set over Half Dome and took in the alpine glow.
Pictures of Day 2 are here.