Day 3, Hoover Wilderness 2019

6/28/2019, 3:30 PM

I was up at 7:00 AM, after another on-and-off sleep. I woke at 1:00 AM to see the amazing stars and to settle in to a podcast for an hour. I realized that something was wrong with my sleeping bag, and came to the conclusion that it was inside-out! I kept feeling a draft along the zipper, because the baffle didn’t keep it covered. It was much warmer the other way ’round!

We had a leisurely morning and set off up the trail just carrying water, lunch, the first aid kit and some extra clothes.IMG_0901

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I thank the WPA and Conservation Corps for these amazing paths through this high country Eden

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Big trees up here! And amazing trail crews.

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We encounter our first snow on the trail!

Upper Piute Meadows slowly opened up in front of us. The trail sometimes cut through the higher reaches of the meadow, which were waterlogged and loving it. Impossible to keep the shoes/feet dry, but that was okay by me. It was a classic mountain meadow, formerly a glacier lake that slowly filled in with silt. So beautiful, with water everywhere.

IMG_5352IMG_5360IMG_5356IMG_0888Barbara lost her mosquito net somewhere on the trail, and I thought we should go back and find it, but we decided not to, and just kept going. We forded lots of little creeks and got wet in soaking meadows. I took off my shoes to ford Long Canyon Creek, which was big! It was rushing fast, but really only up to the knees.IMG_0904IMG_0905

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I know we look like twins in our nearly identical hiking clothes, but this is Barbara.

I feel so lucky!

I started making up verses to a walking song, with nods to John Muir:

Every time I get the blues,

I put-on my walking shoes

 And I find a trail, for I’ve determined

that going out is coming’ inIMG_5385

Lunch was a bit of a disappointment: turns out that dried hummus gets moldy really fast. Good to know for the future!

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We hiked up Kirkwood Creek to a nice overlook, and then turned back toward our camp. The sky was starting to look ominous.

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4:15 PM, back at our campsite again.IMG_5392

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The old soul juniper near our campsite. The overcast skies finally cooperated, and I was able to capture a reasonably good portrait.

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Barbara’s tent

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My tent. These are both Tarp Tents, made in Nevada City, CA. A really great, very lightweight design!

The weather is turning cold—the sky is flat gray, with deeper gray in the distance toward Nevada.

We are camped, for the second night, in the same place, among grantees slabs and sparse lodgepole and juniper. Little tufts of grass grow in the decomposed granite sand. We walked through gardens today of little, sweet-smelling phlox. I love that the blossoms turn from white to purple after they have been pollinated. The correlation to virginal brides dressed in white and “fallen women” in purple is just too obvious, making me realize that humans have been observing, and being a part of, the natural world for a long, long time.

The West Walker River is to the northwest of us, running through a steep granite chasm. On the other side is a nice quick stream (the one I fell into yesterday). It’s getting colder by the hour. It could rain, or bring snow to the high peaks. We can look down the valley at the volcanic peaks of the eastern Sierra and up the valley to the granite heights.

6:15 PM

I am in my tent inside my sleeping bag while a biting cold rain is pouring down. By 7:00, it’s over and the birds are singing again, but I have no desire to get out of this bag. Maybe another podcast is in my future…

9.9 miles, 26 floors, 23,219 steps—more or less.

 

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