Up and on the trail today with my new determination to stop pushing the pace and take time to enjoy what the trail has to offer. This almost certainly means I will not make Mammoth by Saturday. No big deal to me, but Cathy will worry, even though I told her not to be concerned until I am more than a day late. So I will make a detour to VVR, where I should be able to call, and incidentally get a burger and a beer.
Made my first stop at Piute Creek, about 3 miles down the trail, and my exit point from Kings Canyon NP. This creek is of particular significance to me – it is featured in one of the more charming chapters of Colin Fletcher’s “The 1000-Mile Summer”. This book , which recounts Fletcher’s thru-hike of California in the late 1960’s , fired my teenage mind with the ambition to also do a long hike someday. And here I am, a mere 45 years later., hiking a long hike.
I fished the stream in homage to Fletcher, but had no luck, despite finding a very promising plunge pool below the bridge. No Piute Trout for me.
The trail climbed some 3000 feet out of the canyon of the San Joaquin to Selden Pass, which afforded especially fine views to the north of Lake Marie which covers much of a classic scoured-granite basin, surrounded of course by snow-capped peaks.
I hiked down to the lake with a thought to fish, but gusty winds deterred me and I headed down the Bear Creek drainage, which alternates between the creek (a small river really) winding through lush forests and meadows, and then booming down granite ledges.
Stopped to fish some of the pools, but was driven off by hordes of mosquitoes and their friends, the small biting flies that you have to smack really hard or else they just get up and come back for another try.
Saw no PCT hikers today and only one yesterday. Must be in some kind of hiker gap.