Day 69: All the Deer

We didn’t want to linger in Tuolumne Meadows like we did at Reds Meadow. The cafe at Tuolumne opens at 8 so we decided we would get a solid breakfast there right when it opened and be on our way. The breakfast was pretty good, albeit on the pricey side. I had two breakfast sandwiches, one sausage and one bacon, some orange juice and a hot tea and that all came to like $15.

After breakfast we were back on the trail. First, we hiked past Soda Springs where a naturally carbonated spring bubbles up from the ground. Around the spring were 5 deer grazing, they seemed to care less about Pie and me despite our being maybe 20 feet from them. From Soda Springs we hiked another 5.5 miles or so to reach Glen Aulin, a hike in camp near a beautiful waterfall and the convergence of two streams. We ate lunch at this spot, which turned into a bit of a nap session also as some of our lunches are keen to do.

From lunch we had 11.5 to our desires camp destination at Miller Lake. After about 7 or 8 miles we came to a series of 3 stream crossings that required us wading across rather than the usually rock hop or log balance beam routine. As we were drying our feet after the third crossing two young deer bucks came darting by, one chasing the other. About 50 or 60 feet behind us the lead buck spun to face the chaser and they had a small confrontation and then continued their game of chase off into the woods. “Don’t see that everyday,” was all I could find to say to Pie about the event. As we were hiking the rest of the way to Miller Lake we came across a flat area with rocks and lots of downed tree branches about a mile from Miller Lake. Since there was no notes campsite at Miller Lake we decided we shouldn’t pass up a spot that had such soft flat tent areas and all the materials necessary to make a fire ring. After we build our camp and set up tents we started the fire and cooked the turkey dogs we packed in from Tuolumne, delicious. Nearby our camp area was a pretty cool meadow where another small herd of deer were grazing for their dinners just after we ate ours. I think it’s safe to say the theme for today’s hike was deer.


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