6/16/17 – So Long Sierra

Day 54

Miles: 735.27 to 745

The sun rose above the horizon and colored our morning with red hues. The alpenglow was especially beautiful on the rugged bark of surrounding trees and the rocks looked lovely basking in the warm light as well.
The magical light disappeared shortly after we left camp which was a good thing, otherwise I’d still be there taking photos. 

Warm morning glow, I wish it lingered longer

The day was warm and sky was clear, and the only shade came from the trees. Luckily there was a decent amount of them as we descended towards Diaz Creek. Our plan was to get water here but the creek was not super easily accessible and we agreed that had enough to make it to the next water source and so we ate quick snack here and started climbing towards Mulkey Pass, our exit point.

Did you noticed the moon? It was very bright at night.

The scenery was typical of Sierra. It reminded me of some parts of the John Muir Trail we hiked three years ago. Trees, not to dense, yet not completely thinly placed, and large boulders lay scattered through the landscape. The path was soft and without obstacles, and except for a light altitude sluggishness walking was rather easy here. 

And towards Trail Pass we go

It was still early when we made it to Mulkey Pass and for the next 0.8 miles the trail continued on a rather flat traverse to the next pass, and there was no reason not to continue. Trail Pass also gave us an advantage of walking directly into the trailhead parking lot.

The sight of the nearly empty lot was discouraging. Only four cars were parked here, two of which belonged to parties we saw heading out for the weekend. Without cars, there is no hitch, and no hitch meant potentially walking the 22 miles down to town.

View of snow covered peaks from Horseshoe Meadow

I couldn’t believe our luck when just about 10 minutes after we arrived a car approached, and the driver asked if we needed a ride. It happened to be two thru-hikers taking some time off the trail due to one’s injury, and in the meantime they decided to rent a car and pay forward the trail magic they received by driving other hikers around. 

Stream crossings get much more serious than this beyond Trail Pass where trail is still 90% snow covered

And so we got to Lone Pine around 1:30 pm. Town time flies fast though, we went for lunch, did laundry, and spend little bit of time talking to friends, and suddenly the sun was setting, and we had absolutely no planning done. Thankfully we have all day tomorrow to catch up on that.