Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Destination: Mile 753ish
Today's hike was very gradual terrain, and we are mostly acclimated to the higher elevations, but we still struggled to put on the distance we wanted. Halfway through the day, a good part of the trail was snow covered. We had the time to keep hiking, just not the energy. With about two hours of daylight left, we called it a day.
The day started with a decent of roughly 1000 feet down towards Ash Meadow. The landscape was barren, except for the trees. Gentle rolling hills covered in granite and pine trees greeted our morning walk. It would have been easy to believe we were not in the sierras, if it weren't for the cool thin air that surrounded us. Fortunately, the thin air also let the sun in enough to keep us warm.
Once at the bottom, we began our slow eleven mile climb past Mulkey Pass, Trail Pass, and Cottonwood Pass. We had amazing views of Mulky Meadows, far below us, as we walked along the snowy hillside. Many of the trees are all short and stout, with thick twisting red trunks. At one point, it seemed all the foxtail pines were the same height.
Near the end of our day, Apricots postholed up to her thigh. She unfortunately became trapped in the enclosing snow and had to dig her foot out. Psycho tried to help, and then went to put his pack down. He helped dig a bit, but she was out briefly after he started helping. Seconds later, Apricots pointed to a snowless patch of flat-ish land and said, "That looks like a camp to me." Now we are laid out for a night under the stars at 11,300 feet.
The site is beautiful. We are on the southern end of a large rock bowl, partially enclosed by the granite cliffs which build the ridge to Cirque Peak.
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