236/365: Banner Peak.

Editor's Note: The following is pulled from the journal that I kept while hiking the John Muir Trail this past month. I'll post each entry, each day, for the next few weeks. If you are just tuning in, you can go to the first day of the journal here.

Sat, July 24th, Day 6. Slept in past the mosquito window, which incidentally was much narrower than at Sunrise Camp. Apparently it was a very late Spring, much more snow too, so that put everyone's schedule behind, including the bugs. Must secure a hat and some mosquito netting at Reds Meadow, if at all possible. We are some of the only people without a net on all day.

[Yes, all those dots are mosquitoes.]

Despite the bugs, the hiking is great. Had a big climb up to Donahue Pass (11,056 ft) this morning, crossing briefly over into the eastern side of the Sierra Crest and entering the Ansel Adams Wilderness, leaving Yosemite National Park behind. Excited to be in a wilderness that was named after one of my idols. Granite turned to volcanic rock as we dropped into Thousand Island Lake.

Crossing a lake inlet on the way up to Donahue Pass.

Entering Ansel Adams Wilderness

Mild rain as we hiked, barely noticeable. At our arrival to the lake, storms seemed to be brewing on all directions, so we scrambled to get the tent up on a rocky peninsula right on the water. Brianne doubted the solidity of the tent with the difficult, rocky staking, but we were committed to the location, as it seemed the storms were closing in fast. Never have I seen such odd, impossible-to-read weather. Four storms surround the sky, each seemingly still and seemingly coming right towards us. Successfully guyed out the tent fly before shooting some timelapse of the weather over Banner Peak, an Ansel Adams' favorite. Storms never dumped. Jumped in the lake for a bit as the sun filtered thru the clouds. Great swim. Wonderful campsite with water on two sides, giant peak in the distance, lake reflecting storms, sunsets, rainbows and moon. Even had a bit of a double rainbow for a few minutes, but I refused to take a picture of it :)

Our campsite, in the moon and starlight.

Realized today what a fool's errand I'm conducting with this photo mission. The hiking is hard enough, butnow I not only am trying to shoot epic landscapes and editorial-style hiking shots, but also timelapse almost every day! Like doing too many things at once, all suffer. Also realised that our estimated hike time is 23 days with rests, instead of 20, so that throws off some of my calculations (how did I miss that?) re: card space and battery power...though the batteries seem to be doing well, better than my estimates, I am eating into the card space these last two days. May have to switch to JPEG for regular stills to save room. Or shoot less...yeah, right.

Banner Peak by moonlight. Click to view larger.

Thousand Island Lake 200º Panoramic. Click to view larger.