Day 61-65: Life in the Sierras

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In this post we delve into the details of a single day, to give you a sense of what we experience crossing a pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Day 61: Palisade Creek (Mile 826.5)-Evolution Lake (Mile 844.5); 18 miles

6 AM The phone alarm buzzed. We hit snooze. Birds chirped their good mornings.

6:15 AM The alarm went off again and we woke to find ten lethargic mosquitos in our tent. (The tent zipper was still broken.) We packed our belongings: sleeping bags, pads, tent, food, etc.

Day 57-60: High Passes of the Sierras

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Day 57: Crabtree Meadow (Mile 766)-South of Forester Pass (Mile 777.5); 11.5 miles

The cold, frosty night made it difficult to leave our warm sleeping bags, but we had ground to cover. About a mile into the day, the Pacific Crest Trail joined with the famously stunning John Muir Trail (JMT). The JMT showed its beauty early as we walked out of a sparse pine forest into an open exposed area. There we found an intense blue seasonal lake in a meadow covered with yellow wildflowers. Rugged mountains rose behind.

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Although our eyes were excited, our legs told us they needed a break from the intense climbing we had done the previous five days, with heavy packs and little rest. After consulting maps and surveying our remaining food, we elected to camp early. We’ve learned to be flexible on the trail, and we’ve come to enjoy responding creatively to whatever occurs.

We set up the tent in an amazing spot by a lake at 12200 feet, the highest we had ever camped. We saw clear sky and sunset below us, dense textured clouds in the middle distance, and fog cascading over the peaks above us. We heard distant thunder roll through the mountains. Just as we finished dinner, it started hailing! We were amused and quickly retreated to our tent to look at maps and sleep.