John Muir Trail - July 16 to August 4, 2013

220 miles, 20 days, one hell of an adventure.
The sky spinning wild, day 17. Public transportation, the beginning of all truly great adventures. Mile 0.0 (4035ft) - Happy Isles. So I took a little detour.  Vernal Falls off the Mist Trail. Mile 4.7 (6150 ft) - Camp beneath the pines in Little Yosemite Valley. Great stars. Mile 17.5 (9585 ft) - Upper Cathedral Lake.  Beautiful stars again. And they moooooove.
Random flower. Mile 36.7 (11050ft) - Donahue Pass.  A view of the magnificent terrain approaching. This makes our hike look like child's play! Donahue Peak off to the left. Mile 43.0 (9850ft) - Thousand Island Lake.  Best sunset of the trip. Camp. Stars move once again. Beautiful day out on our 5th day.
Mile 49.5 (8737ft) - Shadow Lake. Kim taking in the view looking towards San Juaquin Mountain. Mile 50.2 (9350ft) - Rosalie Lake. Big trees as we drop towards Minaret Creek. Mile 55.1 (8120ft) - Minaret Creek, just south of Johnston Meadow. Katie, Nick and Kim at camp near Minaret Creek. Another detour to Devil's Postpile, a wild geologic oddity. Horray for columnar basalt!
Resupplying in Mammoth. Overlook of Cascade Valley in route to Duck Creek. Mile 68.3 (10100 ft) - Duck Creek. Beautiful view of the Silver Divide. Mile 70.7 (9900ft) - Purple Lake. Mile 72.4 (10300 ft) - Lake Virginia. The John Muir 'Trail' gets quite creative. Expansive view dropping into Tully Hole.
Mile 75.6 (9100ft) - Fish Creek. Kim and a lovely camp fire. Hitting the climb early in the AM. Another nice view of Cascade Valley. Mile 79.9 (10900) - Silver Pass.  Ain't no thing. Mmmmmmm. The appropriately named Silver Pass Lake, beautiful place. Back under tree line!
The view looking into the North Fork of Mono Creek. Mile 86.5 (7700ft) - Mono Creek Bridge. Waiting out our first hailstorm a few miles below Selden Pass.  Incliment weather hits us for the next 6 days. Mile 99.3 (10600ft) - Marie Lake.  Ohhhhhh. Selden Pass and the 100 mile mark passed! Mile 107.3 (7700 ft) - Muir Trail Ranch.  Nick pretty much sums up the theme of this resupply point. Smoke continues to plague our trip in route to Piute Creek for camp. Kings Canyon National Park is entered and the trail follows the incredible San Juaquin River Gorge.
Lovely day out. Another view of the San Juaquin River Gorge. Mile 112.6 (8350 ft) - San Juaquin River Bridge. Fast forward to the coolest place on the trip, gazing up at the craggs of Mount Mendel. Mile 121.9 (10850 ft) - Evolution Lake.  Unreal. Kim being a BAMF, overlooking Evolution Valley. Mile 127.7 (11955 ft) - The infamous Muir Pass.  Nice hut up there too. Clouds building as we are about to get pounded by another hail storm.
And Kim survived! Dropping into Le Conte Canyon. Clear skies looking south towards The Citadel, coolest peak name ever. Our first view of the golden staircase and Deer Meadow. The famous and very unpleasant Golden Staircase, a nasty climb and the first major step of Mather Pass. Ahh, looking back down Palisade Creek. My favorite shot of the trip.  The stars churn above Dissapointment Peak (good god the irony). Crushing Mather Pass.
Mile 149.7 (12080) - Mather Pass.  Looking north at the Palisade Range. Dropping into Upper Basin, and a distant view of Pinchot Pass. Best attempt to get star trails to reflect off water. Somewhere in Sierra Land. Spinning over Arrowhead Lake. Next target: Forester Pass, the final climb before Mt. Whitney. Self shot on day 18. The oh so beautiful Miss Kimberly at our final camp of the trip.
This could probably be a Big Agnes ad or something. Extra milky on this particular night over Mt. Whitney. Climbing towards the crest and the final push towards the summit of Whitney. Really cool route on the last two miles. Mile 211.9 (14496.811 ft) - Mount Whitney is attained.  Whiskey time!!!! Mile 215 - Tragedy strikes, dammit. Approaching Lone Pine and the desert.  Ice Cream...Pancakes...Cheese...Beer...Fruit...Nom nom nom