July 2 – Heat and Big Packs

Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take.
– Unknown, compliments from long distance hiker, Swami

Wanda Lake to Sallie Keyes Lakes
23 miles

The night was cooler. I was happy.

The Sierras continue to be unusually HOT during the day. It seems I keep timing my big climbs at the end of each day. Not smart.

I saw very few hikers today. Most were doing a short backpack and had huge packs that swayed from side to side. They did not look happy nor comfortable in the heat. It almost gives me physical pain just watching.

The route today descended through Evolution Valley to Piute Creek and I am now on the way up Selden Pass. The climb to beautiful Sallie Keys Lakes had bits of shade that was a welcome relief. This area of the JMT is just stunning.









  1. Thank goodness for some shade.

  2. “This area of the JMT is just stunning.” I gotta agree with that for sure. Lovely photos as always.

  3. Possible to post photos of ‘Strayed’ified’ backpacks and their owners? Or Strayedified backpacks in motion?

  4. miss you!!! i wish i was there my friend!!!

    • My 100L Gregory Massif, stares smugly down at me, safely, from atop my sea chest. While it is a very cool pack, and I admire, my affection goes to my Gregory Baltoro 65, happily not over filled.

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