Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Way of the Geezer: The Hike In

After some embarrassing wrong turns Mike finally locates Wishon Reservoir and his trailhead. He joyfully hoists the backpack onto his back and immediately crumples to the ground.

OK, maybe he doesn’t crumple to the ground. He actually starts up the trail, coming to the charming little sign pointing the way to “Woodchuck Country.” (Marmots, of course. As it turns out, Mike only sees one marmot the entire trip.) Mike has been here a few times before, but somehow the trail has gotten much steeper and longer in the interim.

He crosses Woodchuck Creek at the poetically named Blizzard Camp (on the USGS topo) and from there on the trail ascends . . . and ascends. Youch! The trail is interminable!

It’s late in the afternoon before he arrives at some familiar landmarks: Loper Peak, the meadow, and then . . . the bubbling creek. What a minute. There’s no bubbling creek! What th’ . . .

As it turns out, the past year’s low-rain season has left virtually all of the smaller creeks dry. Mike has to scoop some water out of some mosquito ponds and boil it. He decides to call the result “Mountain Tea.”

Photos: Dry Creek—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Boiling Water—Sierra Nevada, 2009; Woodchuck Country—Sierra Nevada, 2009


Diane said...

A fun read. Glad your sign said "Woodchuck Country", cause the signs on our Glacier hike said "Grizzly Country". Folks way up ahead of us saw a grizzly and cub cross the trail, but fortunately for us, we only saw a woodchuck! ha! whew!

Mike Mundy said...

Bears are OK when viewed from a distance.

Not like this.