John Muir Trail day 5

Woke up extremely cold this morning in the valley. We should have put the fly on the tent. The tent was covered in dew and a bunch had dripped down onto Mike’s sleeping bag. Slowly got our gear together, had breakfast, and bid farewell to the valley.

The trail soon started on its upward climb. For a while the trail followed the stream we had camped by. Eventually the trail turned away from the stream but stayed in the trees. We came upon two deer and a faun. The mother deer would try to push the faun down with her front legs so we couldn’t see it. The faun was fairly curious and took a couple strips towards us. Eventually the decided to bound away. While hiking upwards we kept getting impressive views behind us of the valley we just left. We hiked through the spot we were supposed to have camped yesterday. This site was not really better than the one we stayed at.

Eventually the trail broke out of the forest and the environment changed. The area was rocky and also had large meadows. Gone were out views of the valley behind us. They were replaced with views of magnificent peaks ahead. These peaks were tall, sharp, and had glaciers on them. Eventually we came to a small glacier fed lake and decided to take a quick break. Mike and I took a short swim in it. This was the highest point I have gone swimming at as well as the only glacier fed lake I’ve swam in. We contiued on through similar terrain and made our way towards the pass.

A little ways before reaching the pass we met some other men backpacking the John Muir Trail. They had flown in and had been on the trail for a couple of days as well. They gave us a little info about the pass and trail and took our photo for us. We then continued on. This section had left behind it’s meadow like properties and was fairly rocky. We still had great views of peaks all around us.

When we reached the apex of the pass there was a sign letting us know that we had left Yosemite and entered Inyo National Forest. About one hundred meters or so down the trail the the floor started to drop and we were presented with a great view of the new area we were entering. The mountains were once again very different than previous ones we had seen. We decided to stop and eat our lunch of tuna fish here with a spectacular vista. A couple that was hiking up stopped and chatted for a little. The guy said that we should stay on the John Muir Trail if we would like some more beautiful scenery. This is contrary to other advice we had received earlier in the week.

Hiked downward for a while and the started our ascent for our second pass of the day. This pass was much different than the previous one. Every five steps down this section of the trail presented us with another impressive sight of the mountains to our right. Where the previous pass had been rocky, this one was meadows. Eventually Thousand Islands Lake came into view and we got nice sights of the lake with mountain backdrop. The trail headed down to the lake and we made camp alongside. Watched a decent sunset while cooking dinner. Discovered that this time both Richie’s and my GPS trackers had run out of battery. While cooking dinner the first fuel canister ran out. Guess it was a good thing that we had found another.

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