John Muir Wilderness August 2005, Colorado - July 1995

"Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

"The mountains are calling and I must go."

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.

John Muir 1838 – 1914

For a change of pace, this year we elected to do a hike in The Sierra, Camping in The Sierra can be a pain since a) we hate to camp around bears and b) The Sierra are full of bears. However, this route was one in which there were no reports of bears, so it was selected. Brian and Jim flew into Oakland where we rented a vehicle. The next day, we drove to Bishop CA passing through Yosemite National Park stopping at a campsite to answer the call of nature. On the way out after going through Tioga Pass we stopped at a local food joint at the junction of State Highway 120 and Route 395 (the Whoa Nellie Diner in Lee Vining). The food was ok. We then drove down to Bishop where we met up with Ted who had drove from Laramie via I-80 and Route 50. We strolled through Bishop to find a place to eat finally settling on a Mexican food establishment.

The next day we picked up our Wilderness Permit at the Inyo NF headquarters in Bishop. We then drove down State Highway 395 to the Lake Sabrina trail head. we hiked about 3.5 miles in finding a nice campsite. Mosquitoes were a bother in the evening but settled down at bedtime. Brian and Ted had planned to climb Mt. Darwin the next day but only got part way up the lower slopes. The next day we did a great day hike to Hungry Packer Lake. On the hike out we ran into a rainstorm, but it had clear enough so that we were able to play beer hunter.

We next drove up 395 to Mammoth Lakes. We had two eventful stops during that trip. One was a Cal Fire tanker plane putting out a forest fire near the road. Traffic was stopped while the fire was being put out. We also stopped at Hot Creek. The waters are very unique as the hot water bubbles up from the bottom of the creek, where the waters are heated by magma three miles below the surface. This hot water mixes with the cold creek water. If you stand in one place for a few minutes you can feel the hot water mixing with the cold, resulting in a perfect temperature depending on where you are standing. The only bad part was the hundreds of people, but it probably is a classic rest area on this highway.

At our motel in Mammoth Lakes, we enjoyed the sounds of several motorcycles revving their engines in the underground parking garage. The engine echo's set off several car alarms. Feeling satisfied, the motorcyclists turned their engines off and checked in. We hiked around the town eventually finding a pub to eat in. I remember our waitress being irritated with us as we were not the most active group of guys she had waited on. We split the next day with Ted heading back to Laramie and the rest back to my place, stopping to pick up some fresh fruit. We also went to Triple Rock Brewery and to Fat Apples so Brian could get an Olallieberry pie to take back home




Our campsite at Base camp Muir

Food for all!

Brian, Ted, and Jim preparing dinner

Jim reading maps at base camp

Stream near base camp

First falls past Hungry Packer Lake

Our campsite at Base camp Muir

The start of the day hike

That Sasquatch from the Bighorns has followed us here

Even more scenery

Brian deflating the pink chair

Stormy weather

Brian making Jiffy Pop™

Brian still making Jiffy Pop™....

Voila!!

More scenery

The hike out

Leaving Hungry Packer Lake

Where to go next?

More planning

A decision is made!

Lots of waterfalls..

The view by base camp

The start of the day hike to Hungry Packer Lake

Further down Hungry Packer drainage

Unknown Lake