All photos by Barbara Matthews

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 John Muir Trail section hike recap

What a beautiful hike and an incredible learning experience.
As a shakedown prep hike for our AT thru-hike next year,
this hike was a success despite having to cut it short. Check out my
journal here

Here are some of my favorite scenes from along the way.

Lake Maime Sunset 
A day to get acclimated

Cole heading up the Duck Pass Trail into the John Muir Wilderness

The journey up the mountain begins

Enchanted- Arrowhead Lake
A beautiful spot to stop for breakfast, just .3 miles down a side trail. 
The scene quickly turned magical as the sun rose higher.

A sandy beach at Skeleton Lake

Further up the trail we got a great view of Skeleton Lake

Lunch break on the rocky shore of Barney Lake.

Resting at Barney Lake

Lunch and rest at Barney Lake before the switchbacks climbing up Duck Pass.

Hot and dry switchbacks provided little shade but stunning views of the 
trail we have already traveled.

Barney Lake from above

Cole taking in the view

Up and over Duck Pass

Duck Lake and its smaller neighbor Pike Lake

Duck Lake Outlet heading toward the junction of Duck Pass Trail and John Muir Trail

A familiar scene as my son Cole takes a break while waiting for me to catch up.

Panorama of Duck Lake from the outlet

Duck Lake and smaller Pika Lake

First full day on the John Muir Trail

Incredible vistas along the JMT heading north towards Red Cones

We met several Southbound JMT thru-hikers during the day. A friendly Brit took a photo for us.

Crater Meadows area along the John Muir Trail

Yet another tortoise and the hare scene. The trail has transformed into crushed pumice, dusty and similar to walking through sand.

An old giant

One of the Red Cones

The next morning, we traversed through devastation on a scale the photos just don't show.
A windstorm with sustained winds of 150 mph tore through this area in November of 2011
snapping off and uprooting thousands of trees. Kudos to the trail crews that tackled the tremendous task of clearing the downed trees from the trail. 

A few miles down the trail, the scene shifts from blow down to fire scars. The area around Red's Meadow was burned by the 1992 Rainbow Fire. There are many birds, hawks, ferns and wildflowers as evidence of the slow recovery.

Cole's home away from home- Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 and his Helinox Chair

My home away from home= Sierra Designs Lightning 2UL

Rainbow Fire Remnants

The final step. This was the end of our journey as my knees refused to ascend those stairs. 

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