Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 161- To Benson Pass

Day 161, 9/16/14
983 (Stubblefield Canyon) to 966 (Benson Pass)
17 miles

Started the morning listening to the calls of owls back and forth.  Wish I knew what kind they were.  

The Sierra is so different than it was back in June.  Before there was snow and water everywhere.  Plants were in bud.  Now, there are dry creekbeds.  A crispness in the air.  Fall colors.  Berries.  I'm so glad to see these two seasons, the contrasts.
Changing colors.
The maps say this is a "dangerous ford" but now there isn't even a drop.
Early in the morning, I turned a corner and there was Bob eating his oatmeal.  Second time I'd run into him, both times while he was having breakfast.  We'd met a week before at Lake Aloha.  I laughed with delight to see him again.
Hello again, Bob.
Hiked together a bit while we caught up, then went back to hiking alone.  Met up again at Smedberg Lake where I thought I might camp.  But he was going on ahead, up Benson Pass.  I've been stopping early since the stress fracture, but I was feeling pretty strong so I decided to keep going, even though the light was fading.  Later I calculated that I'd climbed a total of 5,491 feet and descended 3,273 feet.  Yah I guess I've been getting my hiking legs back cause I wasn't even that sore.

Followed a pair of deer up to the top of the pass, they glanced back at us before leaping over the crest and disappearing out of sight.  Incredibly, there was a meadow with clear-flowing water up high.  And then further down I found a sheltered site for my hammock tucked out of the wind.
Climbing as the sun set.
Turned out to be a great call to camp high.  We watched the sunset from the view up above 10K feet.  Not as good at taking photos at sunset.  Guess I really was more tired than I thought.  But believe me it was beautiful, seeing the the sky get dark.  Then, 3 shooting stars.  The milky way.  Win!


  1. Entranced by your pictures Joan Hemlock

    1. Thanks Patti! Glad to share them with you!

  2. You need the bird app from Cornel LAbs called Merlin. It even has bird calls.

    1. Awesome recommendation!!! I just downloaded this app- wow what a nice design. This will really help for future trips. Thanks again!