To View Mountains: Day 12 – The Epics

Living artificially in towns, we are sickly, and never come to know ourselves.” – John Muir

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Evolution Valley.  A place where I have come to know myself in ways I did not expect.  We hiked the big ascents and we dropped the big descents, only to feel every last ounce of the pack on our bodies.  There was comfort in being weighed down by a pack, because it freed you from the rest of the world.

Even when I was crossing a rushing stream, and my pack got me off balance and I fell in, I was comfortable.  I was cut and bruised, my boot filled with water and maybe a bit annoyed, but comfortable.  You continue on as if nothing happened.  You don’t have a choice.

Hiking through Evolution Valley was pure beauty.  Even the rain was glorious. (Except it made me put the camera away.)  We found Evolution Lake, then Sapphire Lake at a scant 10,966′ elevation.  The clouds loomed ahead and before we knew it we had walked right into the rain.  But not for long.  We set our sights on the next lake, Wanda, and as we forged the rain turned into hail.  The carpet bombing of ice pellets rang down on us with fury. I questioned everything.  Was this the route I wanted?  Did it make sense to keep hiking?  Why didn’t I bring gloves?

We arrived at Wanda Lake and found a familiar face from Muir Trail Ranch, a man named Manzanita.  Hunkered down in our tents while the rain and hail continued, we bellowed to each other as the hours passed.  Our surroundings were beyond wild, this was The Epics.

11.6 miles

3000′ elevation gain

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