Yosemite 2015 part 2
I prefer a tight and trim backpack with no extraneous items.
They just don't do brute-force dynamite trailmakking like they used to.
Trails tell the story of humans as well as animals. This is me, except it is not me anymore; I had to throw out the old Cascadia trail runners after this trip.
I arrive at the amazing Red Devil Lake area in time to see the next day's destination of Red Peak lit by the last rays of the sun.
I treat water with UV light from a Steripen. It does not kill or filter anything; rather it sterilizes the bad organisms so they don't propagate in your stomach.
Red Peak and Red Peak Pass.
DAY 7: The sudden appearance of thick smoke the next morning suggests that I may be in the path of a fast moving fire. I determine that I am surrounded by enough water and bare rock to survive a possible sudden flame engulfment, and carry on for my day hike up to the Red Peak Pass.
I tie my pack to a tree to lessen the chance of a bear dragging it away, and remove the bear canister. I take enough items with me so that I can survive the night in case my pack disappears.
Clever trailmaking: alternating red and grey stone steps.
From below, the hike to the top of Red Peak pass looks a bit uneventful, but it turns out to be very interesting. Altitude is approximately 11,200 ft. This photo is taken by the only people I see that day. Spotify/Jumi Hendrix/The Wind Cries Mary.
DAY 7: The next morning the air is brisk and I meet two Brits. I ask you, where are all the Yanks?
I eat an early lunch while regarding the clouds passing over the Clark Range. I revel in high altitude meadows, where you can sense the very brief passage between harsh winters.
I am not much of a peak-bagger but I am compelled to climb the nearby peak at Isberg Pass.
Interesting stone fragments look like an abandoned roman mosaic.
360 view from the peak. Spotify/Beethoven/Eroica. Pure elation.
I am sorely tempted to keep following the ridge and climb the next peak, but I still have far to go today and cannot afford another two hours of play.
The second I cross Isberg pass and descend into the Ansel Adams wilderness, the trail really degrades. Random trail rubble really s*cks.
Descending, I get off trail as much as I can. Talus rocks are a pain, but I am able to descend faster by taking more direct routes.
Micro-cracks in the rock lead to splits and micro growth cultures.
DAY 9: OK, another bear. UPDATE: might be a coyote. So much for my paw identification skills.
I leave the horrible trail and continue going cross country, to discover an old log cabin.
Berries = bear food = bears.
Who says you can't get depth of field effects from an iphone?
Yep, another bear on the trail.
These Smartwool socks always fail in the same place. 100 miles is just not satisfactory.
The trail goes from bad to worse. This is one ugly trail.
At night on my iphone I am reading Napolean: A life. The French fought a protracted war against the savage Spanish guerillas, they called it the "The Spanish Ulcer." Against this context the tortured trees remind me of Goya's "Los Desastres de la Guerra" and particularly the drawing "This is Worse".
It is always interesting to get of view of where you will end up the next day. Spotify/Mahler/Alpensinfonie.
The mule is not cooperating. Lots of swearing. According to the cowboy: "She thinks that she can get away with this sh*t."
The only place large enough to stretch out is a natural passage that can lead to unwelcome animal encounters during the night. I erect some simple barriers.
DAY 10: The iPhone is a camera; I try pushing its limits.
I have to climb over more than forty trees on this last day.
I recognize the backside of Mammoth Mountain from previous ski trips. Unfortunately this also means cell towers, and email only brings trouble. Trip over.