Up at 6:30am, and on the trail by 7:30am. Since I can’t take any fuel back with me on the plane, I gave the rest of my Iso to the campers from Houston in BC01 (it was probably ¾ full). I was at the Emory TH shortly after 8am, dumped my pack in the bear box and headed up. It was windy all night and this morning, so I grabbed my rain jacket to help combat the winds (and this was helpful). I made it to the top in about 45 minutes, and there was a young man in a boy scout uniform in the left pinnacle (the high point is the right one). The climb up was not too bad (but only recommended for someone who is confident), and I paid attention to the good advice from the BC04 camper to keep track of the path you take up so you can get back down.
Emory Peak is the tallest point in the park (7,800’) with pretty awesome views from up top, especially on a beautiful, clear day like this morning. I was able to get a Verizon Extended signal, which allowed me to check in with my wife, insure her I was alive, and catch up on the family news. Another set of photos and long period of serenity on top of the mountain, and I headed back down.
On the way down, I was energized. I ran into a bunch of day hikers headed to either Emory Peak or the South Rim, and a few backpackers. I gave some advice to some of the OMLers, however, I am not sure I could help a group of six enough that wanted to do pretty much the same trip as me, but were only a mile from the Basin at 11:30am (and one of them was already struggling). One of the first two I ran into was a father and son from Houston, which the boy had a shirt on for the small Indiana College my son will be attending that August (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology), and he happened to attend the same pre-college summer program there the prior year that my son attended!!! Wow, small world.
I have never had this much adrenaline at the end of a trip like this. I attribute it to how amazing an experience I had. I reached my car at Noon, washed up, changed, got some ice for the cooler, checked in with the Ranger at PJ and headed for Austin by 1pm.
6.9 miles for the day. GPS track for the day