Snowy Journey over Silver Pass in the John Muir Wilderness

10/3-ish: Brrrrr not dry. But alive! Survived! Last night incessant rain, Lightning, thunder, then turned to snow in the morning. Ranger had told me forecast of inches of snow, Mon-Wed @ lower elevation. Wanted to get past all the 10K ft passes before all the snow...Almost turned back to Reds Meadow after the 1st 10K, Duck Pass. hard driving snow, 40 yards of visibility - covered trail with 3 inches of snow starting to worry stress - 10 mi. to Silver Pass - driving snow - driving!! running racing to hit Silver Pass before it's totally covered w/snow at 10,900 feet. More lightning, thunder. Almost lost the trail several times @ Virginia Lake - very deep snow...

Atop Silver Pass - ...The scaredest I've been hiking - singing 'I will survive' & telling myself I can do it 1700 ft climb to pass but snow so thick at top - round 6" - hard to get up. Feet soaked - now cold.
Sun popped out for a bit going up Silver Pass - Glory! Able to tell South direction from sun. blue sky! (just a bit though)...

Safely descending on the south side of Silver Pass - ...Has been snowing most of the day. Felt incredible so good to get through Silver Pass. Thought I might die today. Would have been safer to return to Red's Meadow but no food nor restaurant.

...I wanna be a Japanese snow monkey chilling in the hot springs. EPIC last day on the trail. Mucho nieve! I was thinking it would be ironic to die in the mtns today on my last day on the trail...Was really beautiful today; occasionally I could see monstrous, looming snow-covered mtns, but was mostly too worried to enjoy the beauty. Trail was hard to follow at times but I think I didn't really ever lose the trail. Was able to follow its indent groove in the snow - faint but there. Now @ intersection of PCT and Edison Lake Ferry, 7.5 mi to VVR & 4 more to Mono Hot Springs. Off the Trail now! (and just in time)

Near John Muir Wilderness trail head by Edison Lake

Looking west and descending from the Sierras with Marcelo. Headed towards In-N-Out and San Francisco.

Ansel Adams' Wilderness

Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak: At a junction soon after this point, I struggled with deciding whether or not to take the official PCT for 13 miles or to take the slightly longer and more scenic John Muir Trail before the trails converged together again. It was storming and raining hard and at the intersection a mother/daughter hiking duo convinced me to take the Pacific Crest Trail route, which I sorta regretted but it was probably good to take the faster route as the weather turned pretty intense the next day.

Mandala of fungus at Red's Meadow

Burn area near Rainbow Falls and Devil's Postpile National Monument


South of Sonora Pass

9/25 10:30 pm: Couldn't believe how difficult the 2,400 ft climb up to my first bit over 10,000 feet was. Kicked my butt. The Carson River was nice, cool boulders - and then my next climb up to 10K after Sonora Pass was a piece of cake. Flat smooth tread and straight up. I was afraid of that climb, but twas easy - and then the views! Very beautiful as my photos will attest...

...And the views in the distance of the rocky, craggy High Sierras! Bunched together like the skyscrapers of a granite city...breathtaking. I'm a mile short of 1,000 miles! (I'll finish the whiskey to that!)

...sweet amazing moon hike to descend from the high elevation. And nice sunset. Very epic. Now I know why folks told me I couldn't stop in Tahoe.
Haven't quite been keeping up w/my 22 mile average minimum. Having more weight on my back has made my back hurt a bunch...and everything else but now I got more like 4-5 days of food, so it's better. :)

Toiyabe National Forest

Just south of Carson Pass

9/24: Been on the trail 2 months now. Sorta hard to imagine living anything but this lifestyle. The last 2 nights - walking by the light of the Full Moon, I've run into folks & gotten drunk. 1st) Roma from Prague in his jeep next to the trail gave me Foster's and last night I got food, Maker's Mark & jerky from Scott, Ryan & Bob.

...In S. Lake Tahoe I decided I would do the next 150/180 miles to Toulumne Meadows/Yosemite Valley w/o resupplying and thus carrying 7-9 days of food...which has hurt my back, all over, shoulders, lower back, etc. Plus the climbs seem steeper, more frequent, more intense. I'm N. of Carson River or above it. Have been going to sleep 'round midnight. Will try to go to sleep earlier tonight.


Desolation Wilderness

9/20: Aloha Lake is unreal - so stark and weird white rocky glacial blue cool, hump rock islands, tall peaks, ridges, bit of snow. I would live here if I was the Lochness Monster.

9/20: Dick's Pass (9,300 ft), Velma Lake, Aloha Lake, Desolation Wilderness, Wow! Yeah! Walked 26 miles yesterday - 2 after sunset after Dick's Pass. Chilly! this morning. 1st time my feet got really cold this trip. Wet sleeping bag in the morning. Ice nearby. How do you make down warm again after it gets wet?
In general, I don't think I'm having fun, although yesterday evening's lakes & scenery were awe-inspiring. Thinking about getting a motel room in South Lake Tahoe. Rest, TV. I have a gastrointestinal thing, heartburn this morning. Have had diarrhea. Maybe from H20? Or the turkey sandwich from Truckee? Or the nasty hiker box food from Belden?
Have been thinking about trying to get to Toulomone Meadows before Sept. 27th at Noon cuz that's when the store closes - but need to rush to get there even if I spend the night in S. Lake, 24 a day would do it, and then I'm worried about the bear can situation and that I don't have a PCT permit....Last days have been chilly. A bunch of this hike, I couldn't stop - for the mosquitoes & now more recently because of the cold. Thinking about quitting!