A Crystal clear reflection in the lake.

Today took over from yesterday with the same steep trail and canyon after canyon of lakes, right up until the end of the day when out pops a huge meadow.

I thought I was going to get out early when I woke up at 4:45, but my fifteen minutes of relaxing turned into forty five more minutes of sleep.  A win, I guess.  I ate only one bagel this morning and I actually felt better for the first few hours of hiking.

The early morning casts deep shadows everywhere.

I’m not sure how many official passes I had to climb today, but I think it was three.  Both the climbs and descents were pretty steep and much of it very rocky with poor footing and big steps to step up or down from.  I met a southbounder in the middle of the day who said “after the next pass, it gets easy” which sounded like music to my ears, except for there were two more passes, not one.

I am still hiking from pass to pass though valleys every day. The Sierras are huge.

I saw some interesting wildlife today.  Aside from the usual deer, I saw what I can only describe as pygmy deer.  They were quite small, no larger than a cat and ran quite well.  I don’t think they were newborn deer.  I have seen a deer that was born only an hour ago in Virginia and that deer was several inches taller than these rascals.  There were two of them and they took off running as soon as they saw me.  There was no adult deer anywhere around.  I spent five minutes looking for them again to try to get a picture, but they took off pretty fast.  Maybe they were deersquatch.  I also saw a medium sized bird with half a dozen chicks.  It was bigger than a pheasant but smaller than a chicken.  Whatever it was, it looked delicious and was not afraid if me.  It just kept cooing to keep it’s chicks close.

I didn’t get a picture of the pygmy deer, but I spied this and many other pheasant throughout the morning.

Today was also a low human count day.  Perhaps only five hikers until late in the day when I came upon a scout troop building a bridge across a stream.  It was thin and flimsy, but did the job spanning thirty feet of water that I normally would have waded through.  An hour later I did hit a stream that I had to wade through.  I took my shoes off and took the opportunity to wash my feet.  It felt refreshing and some my feet up a bit.

It’s hard not to stop and take a break when you come across an awesome lake like this.

It gets harder to write blog entries every day when there is not something spectacular happening.  Since leaving Toulumne Meadows it’s been a whole lot of unremarkable.  Except for the rocks… Those have been remarkable.  But looking at the profiles it looks like things may ease up a bit.  I do still see snow drifts every day, but they are nothing special at this point.

The high mountain lakes are almost always crystal clear.

I am an awkward distance to Sonora pass, where I can hitch West to North Kennedy Meadows or hitch East to a town.  The distance from here is 22 miles which I would hit pretty late in the day 6-7pm which may be a hard time of day to hitch.  If the terrain is easier, I might be able to make it earlier, but if it’s not easier then I would get there even later.  I’ll try to get up early and see how the day goes.  I may be hitting the coffee packs early….