I keep expecting every weekend to be my last when hiking in Tuolumne, but the weather has been splendid for fall excursions. Tioga Road remains open, perhaps trying to make amends for the delay in opening this spring. According to NPS statistics, the latest closing date in the last twenty years was December 11 in 1995. Perhaps we’ll break that record this year!
I journeyed to Budd Lake yesterday, taking the old Fisherman’s Trail along Budd Creek, and then I wandered through the beautiful basin that is surrounded by magnificent peaks: Cathedral, Unicorn, Cockscomb, and Echo Peaks.
Snow appeared at about 9,400 feet, but only on north facing slopes or in the shade. I traipsed though the snow, following animal tracks (one of my favorite pastimes—I did my thesis as an undergrad in Biological Anthropology on the science of animal tracking). After following a great set of coyote tracks, my wet feet began to register and I finally remembered I had on my summer hiking boots. Oh well. It was only a short hike back to the car.