Day 28

Miles: 1,064.37 to 1,050.03

The tent walls are drenched in condensation. We’re packing carefully, trying not to touch them. When everything is out of the tent and out of danger of getting wet, I wipe the tent with our small camping towel. I have to ring the towel twice before the walls are reasonably dry.

Mokelumne Wilderness is the highlight of our day. The landscape is volcanic. High rock walls, shaped by the forces of nature, trail a narrow line, crumbling in some spots, leading through slopes of small lava scree.

It’s smoky today. Large fire is burning in Yosemite and the smoke is making its way in our direction. We saw a traces of it ever since we left Tahoe but today is by far the worst. Visibility is poor. Ridgelines are concealed behind the smoke, only revealing themselves as we get closer. Much of the scenery reminds hidden from our sights. I wish we could see more. Nobody talks about Mokelumne Wilderness but from what we can tell it’s stunning.

At lunch we meet couple of other southbounders. They are from Portland and they seem really nice. Their hike started at South Lake Tahoe and will end in Tuolumne Meadows. They are hiking 10 mile days for now. Shorter miles are nice, though they require heavier food carry. Our approximately 15-mile days are a good compromise between distance hiked and weight carried.

Today feels so lazy. We chat with several hikers. There are more northbound hikers today than last two days combined. The longest chat is with Goldilocks.

“Dobrý den,” Dave greets her and I’m wondering what is he doing until I see a Czech flag sawn to her backpack. We spent good 20 minutes gibber jabbering in Czech, both excited to use our native language. If timing works right we might bump into Goldilocks somewhere in Washington later this summer.

According to Guthook’s there are several nice campsites at Kinney Lake. We only find one site. Two ladies are sitting on the rocks. Day hikers that came from a pass couple miles away. They treat us to fresh carrots and snow peas, and I also get blueberry power bar before they head back. Afterwards the site is ours. It’s a beautiful one, perched on a small cliff above the lake. The views are gorgeous here, despite the smoke.

33 miles to Sonora Pass. We could do it in 2 days but more likely we’ll split the distance into three days. It’s beautiful here. No reason to rush.