About 13 miles along the PCT, passing Glen Aulin along the way, we turned right and headed up to McCabe Lakes and hiked to the top of Sheep Peak, a mostly indescript, not quite 12K ft peak (11842 ft.), that nevertheless was a grand adventure, with a spectacular view. We took many pictures with Mt Conness in the background, and tried some panoramas with our small point and shoot. It’s hard to capture sweeping 360 views in a single frame.
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We left Thursday night around 9pm after getting off work and cooking up a yummy dinner the comfort of our own home, and hiked out to Horizon Ridge before setting up camp. In some ways I like hiking in the dark – it’s usually very quiet and peaceful. Plus, this was an out and back trip, so we got to see the scenery, and the flowers that we walked past in the dark on our way out.In the morning we finished our somewhat circuitous route to Ostrander Lake, and circled around to walk along Horse Ridge. It was a lazy day, filled with many stops and a bit of napping. We had plenty of water so we camped high with a bit of a breeze and fewer mosquitoes, filling up when we hiked down in the morning.
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Sometimes, it’s the little things.
I got out of work late today. It was a long day, and I’m still recovering from this stupid cold so it felt longer than it was. My bike was parked at Curry Village, which meant that instead of a <5 minute bike ride, I was resigned to a whole 15 – 20 mintues to get home on foot. (I know, wah wah wah, but ANYWAY…)
I go about 100 feet from my building and start running into different friends. I really like being part of this little Yosemite community. Because we have so many visitors and so many seasonal positions, a lot of people don’t realize what a small-town atmosphere Yosemite has after you’ve been here a year or two. I stop to watch a Flicker in a tree, and again to watch another bird (don’t know what kind) dart through the air in the pursuit of insects.
On the Housekeeping Camp bridge, there are a bunch of kids sword-fighting with sticks. As I approach, one of them delivers a powerful Super Strike to one of his friends – palm out. “Super strike!” he yells. “Whoa, whoa, I say. Cease fire! Cease fire!” as I try to sneak past.
“Dude,” says the Super Striker, “We’re all Magicians.”
It’s one of those times that I wish my tongue was a bit quicker, and I could have come back with something like “I know that. What do you think I am? Stupid?” As I’m walking away I hear Super Striker’s voice again. “You can’t do that. If you leave the Bridge, you’re Dead.” I don’t turn around, but I imagine his friend turning mid-stride and to continue the battle on the bridge, and I smile.
Housekeeping Camp is really a great little place to stay, and I like walking by in the mornings or evenings as families are circling their chairs around a smoky fire and getting ready to start or wind down the day. Mornings are best when there is someone in their camp chair set up in the sunshine, facing out over the river absorbed in a book or some sketch, but I like the evenings too. Tonight, as I go by, one man is offering left-over dinner to his neighbors. “We always cook to much and then try to see if anyone around wants it,” he explains. The receiving family is delighted, and they are trying to come up with something in their supplies that they can give in return. The Burning Man people would be proud.
OK, so *really*, I gotta love my commute.
As it turns out, it has been a embarrassingly long time since I’ve gone backpacking, and I’ve just realized how much I miss it. It isn’t that we haven’t been getting out at all. Last summer we were pretty excited about getting into some longer runs, and we started getting a little more serious about collecting pictures, but as activities that take only part of a day, we were getting pretty comfortable returning home to the miracle of modern appliances, hot showers and a comfortable bed. No longer.
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