July 31, 2010

JMT Day 6

This is where we stopped for dinner on our way up to Evolution Lake

Date: Monday, July 19
Miles: ~20
Cumulative Miles: 123.5
Camp: Evolution Lake

A few miles of hiking early in the morning (down a huge set of switchbacks) brought us to the Muir Trail Ranch by 7:30am. We had mailed our resupply bucket of food to the MTR before we left, and were eager to pick it up (and also buy some more DEET!). We spent a little over 2 hours at the ranch, working on re-packing our bear cans, eating a hot breakfast (at a picnic table!), and enjoying the most delicious bottles of diet mountain dew that my lips have ever had the privilege of tasting.

After our packs had slowly (but noticeably) got lighter each day (as we were eating through the food), strapping them back on our shoulder with an extra 8-9 lbs was almost painful. We agreed that we'd have to take it slow and steady the rest of the day. Luckily there were no major climbs on the agenda... our goal was simply to get as close as we could to Muir Pass.

Despite being weighed down by the heavier packs, we had a glorious day of hiking. The mosquitoes seemed to have disappeared as we hiked for miles along the raging San Joaquin River. The crossing at Evolution Creek (which we heard that a few days earlier was higher than waist deep) turned out to be a no-brainer... thigh deep and no whitewater. Somewhere near the big bridge we hit the halfway point of the trail. Suddenly 222 miles didn't seem like such an unfathomable number anymore. Climbing up towards Evolution Lake, where we setup camp, we realized that we were entering a special place. The second half of the hike would take us over harder, higher mountain passes, and surely fatigue would come back at some point, but after the resupply we felt that we were even more out in the wilderness, on our own, and now we had to get to Whitney!

Entering MTR

Andrea with our bucket

First dew in over a week!

She's enjoying it too!

All of our resupply food... we have to carry all of that?

Mashed potatoes, chicken, and ketchup for breakfast

At this point, after the biggest meal I have eaten in a week, this is as far as I could push my belly out. Our metabolisms were burning!

The shed at MTR where they store the hiker buckets

Entering the John Muir Wilderness

As we moved further south, it got hotter and drier

Along the San Joaquin River

Halfway point of the trip (approximately)... all smiles!

Cool bridge

Crossing Evolution Creek

McClure Meadow

Dinner spot with a view

Happy to be eating some of the new food we had to carry

Heading up towards Evolution Lake


Happy girl


Good spot for a break

Towards Muir Pass

Evolution Lake

Evolution Lake from our campsite

Our campsite on granite slabs near Evolution Lake. I love this picture with the Alpenglow on the mountains.

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