* JMT Hike 2008 *
The Trip Home
The hike from Sapphire to Wanda
Lake was, rocky, wet, and had
patches of snow. There are no
trees, nor have there been any
since just before Evolution Lake.  
Wanda Lake is beautiful. It was a
calm day. The deep water had no
signs of any fish, but there were
frogs everywhere. They were a
black top and yellow belly.  I was
surprised at how big it was.
It easily took a half
hour to walk past it,
but of course I kept
stopping for
pictures. Beyond
Wanda was a valley
of small lakes with
the Muir Pass
Shelter just at the
top of the ridge
shown in the picture
to the far left.  
Teri and I posed for
a picture at the
shelter with a
sponsor banner from
Out-N-Back. They
gave us  big
discounts on the
major equipment  we
bought from them in
exchange for us
taking  a picture with
their banner in some out of the way place. We figured Muir
Pass was a good place for this picture.  The shelter had
some residents living in the chimney.  The Marmosets have
a good thing going with a strong shelter and careless hikers
leaving food on the floor.  I walked pass Muir Pass a ways
and took these pictures. One up the trail and one down.  We
decided we needed to get back to camp and hike down to
Tom and Geoff. We
could see some
scary clouds coming,
and we had not
planned for bad
weather. We hurried
back to Sapphire,
only stopping to
build this snowman.
WE hurried and
packed up camp and
went as quickly as
we could  past  
Evolution Lake. The
sky was pretty scary
looking, and we
passed some other
hikers that were
hurrying to get their
camp set up. We
had light rain as we
went around the
shale part of the trail
 on the east side of
the lake.  We hurried
down the mountain,
only stopping to get
water about 1/4 mile
before where we
were meeting Tom
and camping.
We got up the next morning and Tom wanted to spend a day resting where we were. I said that Teri
and I would go down to McClure to see what help we could find to get Tom out. We all hiked down
instead, and spent some time talking to the ranger.  He was willing to call the doctor for us, but we
didn't know what to tell him was wrong.  We decided to camp for a day, about 200 yards north of
the ranger station.  As we were getting close to camp, I notice my camera lens cover was missing. I
headed back to the ranger station to find it, but found it in the middle of the trail with a deer
standing there looking at it.  I went back and got my camera, and the deer just stood there and
looked at me. The picture above was taken from about 25 feet from the deer.

It was interesting to me as we talked to the skinny ranger at McClure. He mentioned that he had
given much of his food supplies that had been brought for him, to hikers that not planned well
enough and were out of food. When they got to McClure some were totally out, so he gave them
his. Since we were going out 10 days sooner than we had planned, Teri and I dug through our food
supplies and gave about 15 lbs of food to the ranger. We kept just enough to get us out plus a
little. The ranger was very excited and said he was going to keep it for himself. We had things like
beef stick and cheese and crackers, breakfast bars, trail mix,  and granola bars.

We camped at the location shown in the 5 pictures after the deer for about 36 hours. It rained
much of the time we were there. It gave us all a chance to rest. I also caught a lot of small fish here.
By the time we left I had caught 110 fish, with only 5 being Brook trout, the rest were Golden.   
The picture just after the deer shows all of the smoke that
was in the air from the many forest fires in California.

Teri took the tall picture on the left of me getting water
during the rain on our day off.

The hike down to Goddard Bridge was uneventful. Teri and I
had some time waiting  for Tom and Geoff, as Tom is a little
slower on down hill due to b past  knee problem. We had fun
feeding the ants with the flies we caught off each other. This
dragonfly wanted to play too, and caught a fly and then
posed for a picture while he ate it.  

I tried fishing one last time and caught my biggest fish of the
trip with an 10" Golden.

This tree that is leaning, was not leaning when we hiked in
last year.

As we approached  the last big water crossing before the
top of Piute Pass, we were greeted by a Marmoset that was
coming across from the other side.  When we walked up he
backed off and crossed back to the other side. He went
down stream about 30 feet and tried to cross there, but was
unable to, so he sat down and waited for us.  After we had
crossed and headed off, he crossed without any problem.

As we headed for the top is was really clouding up over the
ridge. The sky was so ugly, we were not sure if we would
make it over the top before it hit.  Tom and Geoff were a
ways behind us when it started to rain, then blow, then hail.
It hit faster than we thought and I was unprepared. It was so violent that I was getting beat to
death,as I was still dressed like I was in the river crossing picture. Teri and I dug out our rain gear
and tried to find some shelter, but we were about 3/4 mile from the top of the pass, and there was
no where to hide. Going up the trail was worse, so we headed back down the trail about 75 yards.
There was a flat gravel area on a bend on the trail. There was also a rock about 8 feet tall, and 15
feet long, with a flat side away from the storm.