Extra birthday wishes to Sylvia, Pam, (oh no – is yours the first or the second of Sept.?) and Ron T.! Happy birthday, friends!
Today’s post is for Marilyn, AKA The Captain. Just some photos of new flowers, and a get-well wish along with a birthday greeting.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARILYN! GET WELL SO WE CAN HIKE TOGETHER AND DISCOVER NEW FLOWERS TOGETHER AGAIN.
(Remember when we found Western Eupatorium??)
White Chief might be the most beautiful place accessible by foot from Mineral King. Short hike, steep, lots of variety. Any time Trail Guy encounters someone along the trail below the Eagle Lake/White Chief junction, he tells them they will be happier if they choose White Chief.
Here are more photos from our Eclipse Day White Chief walk/hike.
There are more photos, but they were on Trail Guy’s camera because I overworked my battery. Aiming at the sun may not have been such a good idea. . .
More tomorrow? Stay tuned. . .
The eclipse. Big deal. Lots of chatter. Lots of ideas. Lots of rah-rah. What to do about it in Mineral King?
Easy! Poke a hole in a piece of cardboard with an ice pick, get a piece of white paper, and walk to White Chief.
I say “walk” because I elected to not carry a pack or food. My camera was in my pocket, and a water bottle was in my hand. Let’s go!
Since the steepest part of the hike was behind us, we decided to just keep on trucking up the trail into White Chief. The day became very crystal clear.
To be continued. . . tune in tomorrow.
Remember that I said the last time I saw Eagle Lake it was empty because some stupid hon-yock opened the dam? I didn’t want that to be my last view of the place, so I told Trail Guy I wanted to go there, and I hoped he would join me.
He consented. I asked why he dislikes that hike so much; his reply is that the trail bed is horrible.
As usual, he was right.
This is the prettiest area of the trail – flat, usually full of wildflowers, running water alongside the trail, shade, and TONS OF MOSQUITOES! So unfair. . .
Was it just 2 weeks ago that this meadow was completely full of Jeffrey Shooting Star? Now it is full of knotweed, but it is white so makes no impression in a photo.
We climbed through an area I had completely forgotten about. I knew the rocks were coming, and forgot about this buffer zone.
After I navigated over/around this big boy, I caught up to Trail Guy standing by this:
I said, “WESTERN EUPATORIUM! I haven’t seen this in years, and the last time was on the Franklin Lake trail!”
Trail Guy probably thought I was a little delirious.
To be continued. . .
Sometimes I have to be down the hill, feeding Samson, watering the yard, blogging, drawing, taking care of business, fulfilling promises. Meanwhile, Trail Guy the Retiree is in Mineral King, hiking and taking photos for me to put on my blog.
His favorite place to go is White Chief. Mine too, unless it is the junction of the Franklin/Farewell Gap trails, or Farewell Gap itself. The lakes might could be, but we don’t go there much so I can’t remember. (I might could go there, but I’ll prolly be down the hill at the liberry instead.)
And sometimes Trail Guy comes home, especially if the Giants are on teevee.
Not the Giants; Samson wants to know why the Giants’ games are blocked out in our zip code.
Happy Birthday, Carol! These flowers are for you today.
Two days after Trail Guy went to Farewell Gap via a loop, we returned together with our new best hiking buddy Jessica. The point of the hike was to see Sky Pilot, an elusive high-elevation flower that we’ve never seen anywhere except Farewell Gap (not that we go anywhere outside of Mineral King. . .)
Here are my photos of that trip.
I felt sort of tired, and thought, “How disappointing, I’m out of shape”. It later occurred to me that middle-aged people who are truly out of shape don’t hike 13+ miles in one day at high altitudes (or low ones either).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MELISSA!!
When I hike, I think. When I think, I ALWAYS have questions.
Here are his photos from inside the tunnel:
About a week later, the tunnel looked like this. He walked in it a ways, and then climbed out onto the pinkish algae-clad snow.
The more he rubbed and tried to wash off the algae, the redder it became.
Trail Guy prefers to loop hikes to up-and-backs on the same trail. While I was reuniting with Redwood High School Class of ’77, he was making a loop from White Chief over to the Farewell Canyon and up into Farewell Gap. Here are his photos.
Eagle Lake is about 4 miles from the Mineral King valley floor, but the trail is steep and rough. In spite of that, it is probably the most popular destination. Trail Guy doesn’t like going there and I haven’t been in several years. The last time I was there, the lake was almost empty, because some stupid hon-yock opened the gate on the dam.
This is no excuse to miss out on Eagle Meadow below the lake or the sloping meadow below Eagle Meadow.
One also encounters a mysterious sinkhole, where water continually flows into and yet it doesn’t fill up. The trail looks positively bucolic, but there are armies, platoons and relentless swarms of ravenous bugs. There is a meadow before you begin climbing to Eagle Lake, and it was full of Jeffrey Shooting Star and Knotweed. (and bugs that bite.)