first and last trip of the season

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shakeylegs
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 7:36 pm
Location: Napa Valley, Ca

first and last trip of the season

Post by shakeylegs » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:43 pm

Hi all,
I've been off forum for most of the summer; busy time of year in business and I've also been preparing for an upcoming kidney transplant. After receiving notice to begin preparations for the transplant, I've had a mountainous list of tests and data collection to complete before receiving the go sign. Given all that, and having not enjoyed the mountains for the last 5 years, I carved out some time and headed for the Yosemite back-country. Because the kidney condition drives my red blood cell count down, I don't process oxygen as efficiently as someone with healthy kidneys. This makes physical activity a real slog. So I kept my load light, my gear simple, and my ambitions high. Despite some huffing and puffing I had a great time.

The highway 49 entrance to Yosemite was closed due to the Rim Fire so I went over Sonora Pass and hiked into the back-country from the Walker River trail head. It's a beautiful one day hike up to the crest of the Sierras where Yosemite and Emigrant wilderness meet. From the summit, you have a number of options, but I chose to drop down into Jack Main Canyon, one of the Yosemite's most beautiful trails, and head down toward the perimeter of the Rim Fire. Hetch Hetchy was closed to traffic as it sits off highway 49, so I was pretty much alone. Some areas in the path of the fire looked like moonscapes - others, like telephone pole sales lots. Despite the devastation, there was still an inherent beauty to the landscape (I've always preferred black and white photos to color). And surprisingly, there was a lot of wildlife activity. Animal footprints abound, baby ferns and grasses sprouting everywhere, you sense that other nature hasn't missed a beat. It made me think there's good reason to expect a successful transplant.

Best wishes to all
Shakey
BTW, I used my Starlyte exclusively and it performed flawlessly!!!

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zelph
Posts: 15834
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: first and last trip of the season

Post by zelph » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:46 pm

Glad to hear all has gone well with the tests and it's good to go!!!! In no time you'll be healed and back on the trails without the huffin and puffin :D We wish you a speedy recovery, all will go well ;)

Nature will heal the area over time. Does "fireweed" exist in your area to be seen soon after a burn has occurred? We have it here in the Midwest, cool looking flower.

The StarLyte is a good choice for ultra lightweight. :D

I'll google earth Walker River trail head to see where that is so I can get a better perspective of your adventure. Thanks for popping in to let us know of the current events.

Your surgery will be a success, I can feel it in my bones :D
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

shakeylegs
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 7:36 pm
Location: Napa Valley, Ca

Re: first and last trip of the season

Post by shakeylegs » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:19 pm

Zelph
If it''s a cousin to firewater then yes - we have lots :shock: .
In truth, we do have fireweed though I didn't see any. I suspect it was too late in a very dry season and too soon. But rumor has it that we'll be getting rain soon which should fuel the growth of many species. Come spring the bloom should be spectacular! Hope I'm ready to go by then.
If I remember correctly, I've followed google earth up the walker river canyon and over into Yosemite though some gaps existed then. It's a beautiful, lightly used entry to the high sierra trail and Yosemite backcountry. The Walker river flows out of the mountains adjacent to sonora pass road (highway 108). The eastern base of the Sierra lies at about 4000 feet elevation. Sonora pass road, coming west from Bridgeport, begins to climb right where the parking lot and trailhead for Walker are located. From there you follow the river up into the canyon and within a few hours you can reach the Sierra crest without the massive exertion required further south out of Lone Pine or Bishop. This region of the Sierra marks the beginning of the "High" Sierra region (fireweed not withstanding). From here, it's alpine country all the way south to Whitney, with just one road (Tioga Pass) crossing your path.

Cresting the summit you either drop down into northern Yosemite backcountry and Hetch Hetchy, head south east and follow the crest toward tuolomne meadows, or hike north into the emigrant wilderness and Kennedy Meadows. The latter is roughly the course of the first pioneer emigrants who began migrating to California in 1841 - the Bartelson Bidwell party. This small group of settlers included a barefoot pregnant young mother on foot - and though they experienced massive hardship their outcome was far more agreeable than that of the Donners some years later (and farther north). Part of the beauty of this region, especially the Emigrant Basin, is that it combines a broad area of inter-connected high alpine valleys and plateaus of constant elevation making for leisurely movement between destinations, as well as massive exposed granite peaks and ridges for those who enjoy climbing and cross country. Especially nice for winter camping expeditions.

All the best
Shakey

BTW, Thanks for the the good wishes - This morning I passed my echo cardiogram! Straight A's so far . . .

sudden
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: first and last trip of the season

Post by sudden » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:46 pm

Glad to hear you are making progress towards the transplant. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Do they tell you how long it will be before you can attempt that hike again??

And how come no pics? :mrgreen:
"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."

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zelph
Posts: 15834
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: first and last trip of the season

Post by zelph » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:01 pm

fireweed and firewater one you smoke and the other drink :mrgreen: both will killya ;)

You sure do live in a picturesque area. what does it smell like in the valley during the summer, city or country?

What you got bloomin in the spring, orchards or native plants/trees?

The Donners really had it hard.....I think at one point they ate their saddles.....am I right on that?

One of the interesting things I saw when I visited the "West" is a roadside shelter with a blacksmith forge and anvil that was depicting what had occurred at the time when pioneers were on their way westward. The fully equipped blacksmith shop was used by everyone that needed it and it just stayed there doin nothin till the next wagon load of settlers came by. Something that I've been wanting to try for the past 2 years was to burn "road apples" horse poop in a small campfire. :shock: They did it way back when the settlers were makin their way west so why not give it a try in modern times 8-) I'll see if I can find some after the weather dries out.....raining here today...yuk!!! been gloomy all week.

Keep us informed on your surgery date, we will offer up some good prayers to have your surgeons be at their best ;) and so you'll have a speedy recovery. :D
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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