Tuesday, August 22, 2000

A wide shot of the terrain already traveled.
Taken from just above Trinity Lakes area.

From Trinity Lakes, the trail tackles the next few lake basins in a series of steep ascents and descents. Ruby Lake is a relatively small, shady lake nestled against red, rocky cliff between Garnet Lake and the far less attractive Emerald Lake.

Looking up the trail north of Trinity Lakes

ONe fo the more northern Trinity Lakes

Tiny Gladys Lake

Banner and Ritter loom through the trees on the way down to Shadow Lake

Beautiful Shadow Lake. No more camping allowed!

The sun is gone, having licked its last of the Two Teats and folded behind Yosemite. The airline superhighway above is still aglow with contrails, all pointing towards San Francisco. My muscles reel from today's surprise attack. I had forgotten I was looking at a nine mile hike today, and then that climb out of Shadow Lake Basin…Up and up to the rocky saddle, almost pass-like in its starkness, and then down to Garnet. I was out of water before I even crested the trail. Then up again to the hill above Ruby.

All in all, a healthy underestimation.

I like my campsite. It's quite nice. I think it would easily ranks among my favorite, but for the fact that I'm camping here alone. No one to admire it with me. It's very secluded. The only human thing I can see from here happens to be mine-a black shirt I've laundered and hung to dry.

Banner and Ritter are getting close now

The Minarets above Ediza Lake (which you can't see)

Another view of Banner and Ritter

Looking up trail north of Shadow Lake to a pass-like apex

And then looking back down...

A small lakelet at the top of the crest

I've just lost my sunlight. I'm perched on a slab o' rock overlooking the PCT, Agnew Pass and the valley leading to Agnew Meadows. There's a lot of history here. A temporal nexus of sorts. I've been through this area at least four times, and that's not counting return trips.

I adjourned the previous journal session as a cool wind heaved up out of the valley and chilled things off. I'm now perched on a rock just above the trail overlooking glorious (and small) Ruby Lake. Just up the trail and a few meters above it is a single tent. Then a little further down is an absurd sprawl of a campsite, complete with folding chairs, a two-burner stove, expansive tarp and a huge tent. And all of it just three and a half feet off the trail. I think I'm watching its occupants now. A man and his sons are fly fishing. They're not on the shore. They're not even standing in the shallows wearing waders. They're floating in the water, bobbing about on these bizarre inner tube contraptions, the bottoms of which have been fashioned to fit a pair of legs like a wetsuit, complete with flippers. And it seems to be working. In a sense. Every once in a while one of them hauls in a minnow.

Finally, a glimpse of Garnet and my route, soon to be taken

Down at the outlet of Garnet Lake

And finally, a glimpse of Ruby


Dinner overlooking the high and low trails to Agnew Meadows

Tomorrow, I'm aiming for Rush Creek. Definitely a mellow day. Maybe five miles. Lees? And after that, another five to Lyell Canyon, though I wonder if I might want to head down the canyon a ways, just to keep the final day somewhat under control. Anyway, the tubers are gone. I'm cooling down. I'm heading back now…

Conjoined panoramic of Ruby Lake