July 1 – Muir Pass and Wet Dog

Following an old trail like this is a way of keeping alive the idea that there is something bigger in the world than our own human pursuits. I don’t have to pretend that I’m the first one here; I just need the possibility of finding something new and surprising (to Me), a landscape that puts our human endeavors into perspective. I cling to that possibility as if it were a life preserver. 
~Lawrence Hogue, All the Wild and Lonely Places: Journeys in a Desert Landscape
compliments of Hamburger Helper

Palisade Lakes to Wanda Lake
22 miles

I got a super early start knowing that I had a big climb up Le Conte Canyon to Muir Pass that was going to be hot and in the sun. I met a hiker on the trail this morning, which is very rare at 6:00 in the morning and guess what? She is from Scotland and is hiking a very large section of the PCT from Walker Pass, north of Tehachapi where I live, to Crater Lake, Oregon. Her trail name is Scottish Lynn.

Anyone that has ever hiked with me knows that I really don’t do well in the heat. I have come up with many solutions over the years. Today I brought out my favorite strategy. It looks like this. Every mile or so in the heat, find water deep enough to dunk my whole body in and simply take my pack off, walk in clothes, shoes and all, put pack back on and keep walking. It only takes a few minutes and works wonders.

I thought a lot about this hike today. I needed to make this hike unique and different. The Sierras are humbling. Everything is straight up or straight down. Humility is a very good thing. It tests your inner strength and character. And hiking solo…all rules change. It demands attention, concentration, and determination. Notice I really didn’t say anything about a sense of humor. When hiking in groups or with a hiking partner this quality is king.

It has been very warm at night. Luckily my tent features the option of opening four doors on both sides. It is a good night.20140703-114723-42443394.jpg













  1. What a small, beautiful world we live in. You have captured it perfectly. You and Scottish Lynn must have had a lot to talk about.

  2. Excellent photography. That little camera is still working well or you.

    • Thank you! Both my LX5 and RX100 have taken abuse…water…dropping…dirt! One now is stuck in minus 1/3 exposure and the other has dust spots on the sensor. Glad they are still doing their job.

  3. I love the pictures…from my living room it looks like a lot of water in most of your recent pictures. In 2012 my son and I hiked from Crater Lake to Tuolumne Meadows. Enjoy every inch of your hike! I finally made plans with 2 other older guys (my age!) to share in a short hike from Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows in early Sept…my question is, do you think there will be any water left?

    • Boy that is a good question. That section has some pretty established streams. They may be low. I would just plan on filtering everything. Sounds like a great trip you have planned!!!

  4. annathrax

    In love with your photos and your spirit! So happy i followed your blog, now i get to ser awesome posts from you! Happy trails!

  5. I love the photo of the lake with the orangish red-capped peaks. Pretty cool. Go!Rockin’!Go!

  6. Barbara Tieskoetter

    I am in such awe of your pluck! Goodness gracious, you truly rock. Thanks for your words about determination. Keep on rockin’ Rockin!

  7. Don Stump

    Beautiful Pictures. I wish I was there. Last few weeks I’ve seen lots of thru-hikers north and south of Hwy 4 in the central sierra. If you need anything near the Hwy 4 crossing let me know. I’m surprised how little water is flowing for this time of year. Good Luck

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