Your random drive-thru trip report from the California weekender!
My hiking group did a day hike to Alta Peak. It's a 14 mile round trip climb to more than 11000 feet. It's also supposed to be as difficult as the grueling Half Dome hike - lots of exposed trail to bake in the sun on the way. I backpacked instead. The group, not encumbered by thirty pounds of gear, disappeared up the trail and I was solo the rest of the trip. Which was okay - I met other campers and had a fine time.
I went to the meadow first. It's at the base of the peak. A coyote leaped out of the trees, startled me, then took off after a marmot. Big meadow, lots of coyote food. There was a forest fire slowly burning at the other end of the meadow; mistook it for campfires until another hiker said it'd been burning for a week.
Pitched the hammock:
Brought the stock tarp this time. Didn't care for the amount of flap - good thing there was only a slight breeze. Notice the tree along the right side of the picture?
Bear! short one, tho.
That night feuding raccoons ran through my site. I fell asleep again on my evazote pad, covered with a neat sheet, under my JRB quilt, and got deep into slumber until I heard a great crash followed by heavy footsteps and another crash. I envisioned my bear can careening off the edge of the ridge and down into Panther Gap. But it was right where I left it in the morning.
Got up the next morning, trudged up to the peak, came back down, walked to the car. What a great trip. Here's a shot from the end of the ridge looking down the Sierras toward Whitney:
I am waiting for my second JRB Hudson River to come in the mail. Coming back from Alta Peak without soreness let me know I'm able to pace myself well enough for the next challenge. Next weekend I am doing Half Dome with the group!