My high-mountain adventure lasted almost a month, from June 15, when I walked out of Kennedy Meadows and the landscape started transforming into granite hills and hidden alpine meadows, until July 14th, when I walked over Donner Pass (without being eaten!) and met Chuck for a weekend of resupply and relaxation on the shores of Lake Tahoe. 1160 miles down, 1500 to go! The Sierras deserve a much longer write-up, but I have to get back on trail about two hours, so here are a few highlights:
- A surprise meeting of friends from San Diego on my descent from Mt Whitney
- Climbing 14,500-foot Mt Whitney and 13,000-foot Forrester Pass on consecutive days
- Lots of deer and marmots (high-elevation groundhogs)!
- More waterfalls and pristine alpine lakes than I ever would have imagined
- Camping above 10,000 feet, and waking up to a tent covered in ice
- Seeing the dramatic changes in rock formations through King’s Canyon and Yosemite National Parks and the National Forests in the Sonora Pass area and north to Lake Tahoe
- Many mountain wildflowers – from tiny little plants hugging the ground above 12,000 feet to meadows full of flowers taller than me! I even got to walk through a field of wild irises.