|Mike fording across a creek near Wilmer Lake..|
I was very fortunate to have such a clear blue sky for my walk toward Sonora Pass.
In places like this I feel more like I'm in an airplane on another planet than just walking on the PCT. This is certainly a special place.
Large patches of snow still lingered here in mid June.
The PCT crosses highway 108 directly at Sonora Pass, a very popular trail terminal for hikers and for good reason!
|I just had to have a picture of this unusual tree trunk whose magnificent blend of colors, texture, and size just really caught my eye.|
From my journal (June 15,Day-51)..."I had a bowl of cereal then was on the trail by 6:20 am and it was just warm enough to start hiking in my short pants for a nice change. I wasn't on the trail for more than half an hour when I came upon a man with a white Kelty backpack. Approaching from the rear I say, "Good morning" . As he turned around we both recognized each other from the Kick-Off at Lake Morena back in April. He was the very kindly gentleman who had given me a ride on two occasions to the trailhead at that time and he was also helping Meadow Ed with the desert water caches. It was really nice to see him and we walked and talked for about twenty minutes telling stories from the Kick-Off to other trail talk. He was enjoying a slower pace so I hiked on, but it sure added an enjoyable and unexpected moment to my morning!
All morning the trail followed along the side of the crest, weaving in and around gullies, drainages, and the heads of canyons. Water was plentiful and the trail was nice for walking too. I was really amazed by Asa Lake which was spring fed by a gushing rush of water directly out of the mountainside3, then someone had bult up a small canal directed at the small lake just 50 feet away. Just beyon Asa Lake I stop for lunch then cross over an unnamed saddle at milepost 1039.8 which opened up into Noble Canyon with its many outcroppings of red volcanic rock, pristine lakes, and many waterfalls. I was so excited that I fell down on a snow patch at Noble Lake which had me limping by days end. Eventually I climb out of the canyon to highway 4 near Ebbetts Pass which was just a very small paved road through the mountains. Evidently this was a somewhat populat hiking area since the PCT north and south of the road was well worn wide for a couple of miles.
Just past the road I took an hour break on a large outcropping of rock overlooking the Kinney Reservoir far below and the few passing cars. From there on my left foot gradually began to hurt more and more finally causing me to limp in sharp pain, but I just kept going until I found my neatest campsite yet on a hillside under a big piece of volcanic roack where a gigantic tree seems to be bracing it up. The wind blows very strongly but it is total calm here at my rock! I saw it from the trail just before dark and suspected that there might be a flat place to sleep on the uphill side. With a little digging and scraping I seem to have a nice and secure and well protected place to call home for a night! "
Crossing yet another snowpack north of Kinney Lake.
A nice view of Noble Lake in relation to the huge open valley that opens up beyond.
The contrails of commercial jetliners also really caught my eye while in the Sierras. The planes and their trails seemed so much clearer and closer here than anywhere else along the way.