Today we have a long but beautiful climb up to Muir Pass. The trail follows the Middle Fork Kings River up into the snowy alpine, where it begins. The first 3 miles of the trail is through the Le Conte canyon. It’s a peaceful place. The meadows are soggy with recent snowmelt and wildlife is abundant, enjoying the warm, sunny morning.…
After nearly 12 hours, we emerge from our tent. Apparently, adjusting to physical exertion at elevation is exhausting. We are feeling rested this morning, and ready to tackle our fourth pass in four days.
I make us coffee and breakfast and then after packing up, we immediately ford the South Fork of the Kings River. It’s a cold crossing and I can hear my own voice in a high pitched exclamation above the roar of the river.…
Morning comes to our junction camp. It is sunny and warm. This morning we will climb 1,100 feet to Glen pass, which tops out at 10,771 feet. We hear Glen has a lot of snow on the north side, and so we begin our climb early, in order to cross the snow when it is firm. By mid-day, the snow will be soft and slippery.
I climb in the quiet of the morning, my mind darting from one half thought to another. My breathing falls into a rhythm as we climb higher into the mountains.…
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Today will be our last day on the SEKI trail. Tomorrow we will meet my mom in Fresno. After that we’ll retell of our travels, and make plans for future trails. But for now we’re in the wild. So, we’ll enjoy every minute as it lasts.
The morning sun turns the tree tops to gold, and I hoist my weight onto trail stained legs. The Roaring River rambled all night long, inspired from the glaciers and snow pack miles away. It’s voice comforts me as I greet the day.
We clear our bear bin locker. Anticipation, excitement, and a touch of melancholy hangs in the morning mist. It’s a familiar feeling.…
At the Mercy of the Mountains
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
There’s nothing like sleeping on a ridge line. I love it. You get the last of the evening light, and the first light of the morning.
As the sun hits me this morning, I’m awoken to a beautiful sight. Compelled by what I’ll see today, and a back as stiff as the stone I slept on, I leap up to attention. It’s time for coffee and breakfast.…
Welcome to the Backcountry
Monday, July 30, 2018
Today, I’m not an early riser. I have no job to do, no commute to fight, no homework or bills to pay.
At home there’s a mailbox. Inside it perhaps are envelopes… pressing business that won’t receive attention for at least two weeks from now. In my backpack is a cellphone with airplane mode switched on. I imagine there are messages funneling in from someone, these beacons I cannot see.…
Where the Road Ends, the Trail Begins
Sunday, July 29th, 2018
I woke up on the ground. The first of many more, except today I’m in a campground.
Squirrels scatter across the campsites, corkscrewing up the pine trees. They chew pine cones then dismiss them, from the tree tops down to the dry and dusty ground.
The neighbors are getting going, breaking their camp down to fill their car. I assume they have a long drive today, and work tomorrow. I feel fortunate for my time here, and that it’s just begun.…
Leaving the Comforts of Home
Saturday, July 28th, 2018
I took a shower and now it’s time to put on my clothes that I will wear for the next 3 weeks. Excitement fills me up.
Oh wait, change of plans. Rachel’s bringing a small bag to leave clothes in our rental car. When we reach the car we can exchange the soiled stinky clothes for clean and fresh. Good idea. It will be nice to have clean clothes awaiting us at the end of our adventure.…