264/365: The Sierra Golden Gate.

Another early rise after a long night of sleep. Heard a pack of coyotes as we were going to bed, close. Spooky sounding. Bri had a dream that they came up to the tent and stuck their noses under the rain fly, and one of the noses was black and familiar, and turned out to be [our dog] Rita. Hard to get up in the morning, was cold outside of the bag. Oatmeal, coffee, morning constitutional. Used last square of toilet paper...and this being pine country, there's not too many leaves around here...gonna have to be journal pages for the next five mornings I guess.

Morning sun strikes peaks north of Lake Marjorie.

Set off on a steep 1-2 miles to Pinchot Pass (12130 ft), another gorgeous view both north and south. Had only one oatmeal packet this morning, the last two in the bear box, so got immediately hungry as we climbed. Forced myself to not eat the bar in my pocket, thinking of John Muir himself, who only carried some tea and a bit of hard tack or bread on his long excursions. If he could hike hungry, so shall I...then again, he didn't carry 50 lbs on his back...

Looking south from Pinchot Pass.

Over the course of the day, the hunger strategy seemed to work: hiked about 8 miles down to low elevation point for the day in one fell swoop, with one Snickers along the way. At Woods Creek crossing, with a large suspension bridge over the water, had last chunk of summer sausage and a tuna tortilla. Not stuffed, better for hiking after the break.


Awesome suspension bridge over Wood Creek.

Was worried about last 7 miles up into the valley toward Rae Lakes and Glen Pass, over 2000 ft up just to our camp, in the heat of the day, but we managed it nicely and had plenty of time for one of the most beautiful swims so far, under the Painted Lady and surrounding peaks. Nice little spot, almost all alone, but could hear some yahoos across the lake having a good time. It's 8:30, and we are going to BED.

Headed south with Fin Dome overlooking the trail.

Swimming in Rae Lakes, the Painted Lady (12119) behind.