Day 12: Lower Cathedral Lake

30 July 2020
JMT from Ireland Lake Trail to Lower Cathedral Lake (11.2 miles, +1,400/-1,000 feet).

Today was sad because we said goodbye to Flower Power who headed back home from Tuolumne. But it was also happy because we camped at Lower Cathedral Lake, one of my favorite of the trip!

We broke camp in Lyell Canyon and headed out early.

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Potter Point
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Lyell Fork reflection

In the gorgeous and meandering Lyell Fork, Bee’s Knees and I saw the biggest trout I’ve ever seen.

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At least 24 inches — I swear!
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Lyell Canyon

When we were done with our morning stroll in the canyon we found the abandoned campgrounds at Tuolumne.  COVID has made some aspects of our trip really strange.

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So eerie!
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We almost didn’t see this guy

We dropped Flower Power off at the Tuolumne Visitor Center so she could get her bus back to Mammoth.

Meanwhile, Finder very kindly yogi’d some extra food from some tourists for Half Cookie and me.  We didn’t buy enough at Reds Meadow and were starting to get really hungry with our meager daily rations.  Finder got us a handful of power bars and two home-made PB&Js.  Wow!

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Finder found food!

Secure in the knowledge that we would finally have enough to eat, we climbed up from Tuolumne towards Cathedral Lakes. It was hot but only 1200 feet or so.  Not too bad.

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North Buttress of Cathedral Peak

When we got near the lakes we weren’t sure which one to head for, so we decided to go to the lower one off trail since we thought it would be less crowded.

And it was magical!

We’ve gotten a bit jaded this trip with beautiful lakes all the way, but this one just might be my favorite.

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Meadow near lower Cathedral Lake
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Cathedral Peak
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Cathedral Lake
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Wow!

We camped on the north shore In the trees and enjoyed playing in and by the water.

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Clark Kent turns into Ultrashuffle 
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JimmyJam discovers a new use for his sleeping pad
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That’s pretty shallow!
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View of Lake Tenaya from the outlet
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Medlicott Dome
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Finder’s camp up high
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Reflection shot
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Our camp down low

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