Mile 857.7 to mile 880.6 (22.9 miles, 36.8km)
Camping within a mile of the Muir Trail Ranch it was a quick in and out to pick up my resupply. Food glorious food. And more than I need for this next leg so I got stuck in straight away.
The Ranch was not what I thought it would be. Quite small reach with a few old buildings. They are not officially open for the season just yet but have a few staff on hand. Basically the only service on offer at the moment is resupply pick ups.
The mozzies were super thick. Again nature’s cruel joke – beautiful places have annoying insects. As soon as you stop moving they go in for the kill on any exposed skin. Any time I had to stop, even for a drink, long pants were required and a head net was a must. The alternative is Deet, but I hate using that stuff.
The altitude is a funny thing for me at the moment. There seems to be this range from 9500ft to around 10500ft were everything seems so difficult and much hard work. Then I get above this height and find this kick were things seems easy and I fly along, even up steep climbs, then to struggle again around 12000ft. Above 12000ft things get weird. You get light headed and it’s like your brain is disconnected from the body. Like sleep walking I guess. You’re body is moving but the mind is all over the shop. It’s funny. Sometimes you hallucinate and have to take a second look at things. You’ll see things in the shape of rocks you know are not there. In the scheme of things 12000 ft isn’t even that high.
Seldom Pass was easy peasy. You know its time to ditch the snow gear when both the approach and descent of a high are snow free, and you’re being attacked my mozzies.
The trail is starting to shift into different forest types now too. Today it lead through large stands of Aspen with their white bark a major change from just seeing pines.
Areas of bald rock as well where trees happen to find the smallest niche of soil and manage to establish, basically growing in nothing at all. This explains the large amount of wind thrown trees over the trail though. Shallow roots and strong winds knock down a bunch of trees. And they always seem to fall straight across the trail to provide another obstacle for hikers to negotiate.