Saturday, August 25, 2012

John Muir Trail: Red's Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch

Red's Meadow to Deer Creek
Approximately 6 miles

Had vertigo again while hiking.    Maybe dizzy from all the beauty of the wildflowers along the way.  Mostly walked through burned area from 1992 Rainbow Fire.  Caught a few fish and kept a few to eat.  Made a campfire and fried them up.  Yummy.  Reading Wenk's  JMT guide and Muir's, "My First Summer in the Sierra" nightly on the kindle.

 "Every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven a mirror reflecting the creator."  -John Muir

  Mule deer

Bracken fern
Deer Creek  flowers

Sizzling golden trout

Deer Creek to Virginia Lake
Approximately 10 miles

I was worried last night that the strange vertigo would continue to be a problem and make it impossible for me to finish the hike.  Mark prayed for me though and he had faith I would be better today.  He was right as I had  an absolutely fantastic day. We had beautiful scenery  and tantalizing glimpses of the Silver Divide.  We also passed some llamas and tried identifying flowers along the way. Quit hiking by 2:30 again.  We swam, fished and lazed in the sun by beautiful Lake Virginia.    Flatulence did return so we better keep that rain-fly off.

Along the way

Purple Lake

Fishing at Lake Virginia

Virginia Lake to Mott Lake trail intersection
Approximately 10 miles
Tulle hole was very pretty and then met up again with Ian and Erika at Squaw  Lake  and had a long visit.  Great young couple.   After leaving them we had a snow cone on Silver Pass and took a photo for a boy scout group. We were sad to have our last view of Mount Ritter and Banner.   We love those peaks.  We had a long hike above treeline down to our camping spot on north fork of Mono Creek.  Met some very hungry fish and were able to release them because they didn't swallow the fly.  We have so much food it seems a shame that a fish should die for us.

Looking down on Tully Hole

Silver Divide

Glacier Snow Cone

Silver Lake

Mott intersection to Bear Creek
Approximately 9.5 miles

Tough switchbacks from Mono Creek bridge up.  Of course it didn't help that there were 3 guys behind us that I didn't want to pass us.  Mark got first blister, continued to enjoy all the flowers and pure spring water along the way.  Swam and fished and slept at a beautiful cascade on Bear Creek.  About supper time Ian and Erika joined us!  

Granite along Mono Creek

Larkspur and Columbine Friends

Cascade along Bear Creek

Ian and Erika AKA "The Clean Couple"

Bear Creek to Marie Lake
Approximately 6 miles

Burning time with a short hike because of reservation on the 4th at the Muir Trail Ranch.  Sad to see Ian and Erika march on from Marie Lake.  Absolutely enjoyed watching Marie Lake's changing expressions through out the day though.  It was surprisingly nice to just sit in silence and watch.   Didn't fish.  Swam little.  Large cloud mountains formed in the afternoon, but no rain yet.  

Changing Expressions of Marie Lake:

Marie Lake to Muir Trail Ranch
Approximately 8 miles

Our intent was to hike a few miles and camp at Sallie Keys Lakes.  We got there by 10 and decided to just hike on and see if we could catch Ian and Erika.  We thought that maybe Muir Ranch could swap our reservation for today.  With the exception of Selden Pass, it was all downhill.  The last part was deep with trail dust and switchbacks.  Made it to Muir Ranch and Ian and Erika were there as was David C, our banker. So glad he encouraged us to take this hike. We couldn't switch our reservation, but  they had vacancies for tonight, so we ALL stayed.  It was fun hanging out with trail friends and making new ones. David C had packed some fine boxed wine in his resupply to add to the wonderful dinner the ranch served.  Of course,  also had a long private soak in the hot springs while Mark showered and washed our clothes.  Ah,  what a kept wife I am and what a wonderful husband I have. He makes this backpacking pretty easy for me. 

Hiking up Selden Pass with Marie Lake behind me

Sunflowers or sneeze weed

Sallie Keys

Grouse or sage hen

Muir Trail Ranch Rest Day
0 Miles

Scheduled rest day had us waving goodbye to our friends.  We wanted to leave with them, but Mark felt led by God to stay.  Enjoyed the hot springs together and read a book about a couple during the depression who took care of the dam at Florence Lake.  What a fun read about a nearby lake.  Visited with Fred and AJ from Boston and a mother and daughter team from Connecticut  and Michelle and Lindsay from Florida and Steve and Kathy from Bay area.  Loved visiting with all the hikers and learned a lot from them too.  Got our resupply all sorted for our departure tomorrow.  We will be a lot heavier with food for 11 days!   Lightening and thunder and rain came during our prime rib dinner and we were thankful we had stayed.  Loved the kitchen staff and their cooking!  We will definitely be recommending this place.

Our tent cabin

The "hot" hot springs
The "warm" hot spring house
Many rescue horses are in their riding string

Kitchen and mess hall
Prime Rib, potatoes, roasted vegetables, spinach salad, 2  fruit salads, home made bread, berry cobbler


  1. Great, great pictures. I love the Foster's snow cone. The ranch looks great as well - especially the food. It was smart of you to take that extra day of rest.

    See you soon.


  2. Always glad to share my wine with two wonderful friends.

  3. I loved this! *Almost* makes me want to pick up backpacking.


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