Our home, with that morning’s backyard.
Our next checkpoint was Mather Pass (12,047′), a pleasantly gradual climb, even during the steepest parts.
After the descent off the pass and a traipse through the valley below, we came to what we learned is called “The Golden Staircase”, a stretch that, for us north-bounders, drops 1,600′ in about two miles.
We learned the name from one of the Park Service trail workers whose crew was rebuilding the staircase, removing all of those blasted 18″ tall steps and replacing them with something more manageable. No doubt that the southbounders appreciate that.
The view of the valley we were about to drop into.
The Lombardi Street of the Golden Staircase.
Day 74 – 15 / 823
Our next target was Muir Pass (11,978′). But first we had to drop 2,000′ so we could climb 4,000′. That’s the name of the game here in the Sierra. Thankfully the trails were good. The views were fantastic.
Our lunchtime view, next to a cold creek that became very handy for a refreshing bath.
Looking down a fantastic water slide, dropping a few hundred feet. It sure looked fun, yet terminal.
We lived the light- and shadow-play as we approached the pass.
The John Muir Hut located at the pass. Jen provided for scale.
A view of the lakes below, looking toward the west. We would spend the night on the shore of the large lake.
Day 75 – 17 / 840
Our morning view, without leaving the comfort of our sleeping bags.
Our home, provided by Yama Mountain Gear, with that morning’s backyard, Lake Wanda, named for John Muir’ daughter.
This was the second morning in a row that smoke from distant wildfires gave us hazy views. Nothing is close by, but the fires will increasingly become a fact of life as we move through Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
The Evolution region of Kings Canyon National Park is astounding, and quite popular.
After our first stream fording across Evolution Creek, which can be dangerous after a normal snowfall winter, we walked downstream and saw this fall. Jennifer mentioned that if she saw this before the fording, she would have been quite upset.
We then discussed lines to take in a kayak.
Our last night in Kings Canyon, right on the northern edge of the park, next to Paiute Creek. The colors were great.
It has been a while since the last selfie.
Day 76 – 16 / 856
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