Over Selden Pass to the perfect campsite
Can’t break the streak of late-starts. We had camped close by our friends Purple and Carnivore, early risers, and we hoped that they’d have a good influence on us… but we wake up to full sun and no sign of them. They must have snuck out of camp hours ago.
With all that sleeping in, surely hiking should be going better? We’ve only made two miles and I’m crashing hard. Today is not my day – either that or the Sierras are gradually, inexorably taking me down.
I collapse by a small, pretty lake. “Oh man,” says J. “Look at that lake. Look at those trout!”
“Catch me some?”
Pop, pop, pop! Three trout, all in a row. J spends another half hour catching the last one, I clean them and put them in with foraged green onions. Food of the gods! “You’re never going to enjoy another trout dinner again,” declares J. What could compare with this? Maybe I can hike today after all.
Selden Pass goes easy. There’s a nice shear zone through the granite, the rock breaking off in thin plates. A cheeky ground squirrel sits by us on top of the pass, sharing the view (but not our snacks, too bad for him.)
Down, then up. The reliable down the pass, up the pass pattern is over. It’s a steep ridge, but the uphills always come through for us. Instead of pines, pines, pines, we’re in aspens. The undergrowth is flush with lupins and lilies.
(I know, this is a columbine, not a lily.)
Going up inexorably leads to going down. A little vitamin I eases the descent. We cross the bridge over Mono Creek and it’s getting late. I don’t think twenty miles are in our future, but perhaps?
More uphill, but the walking is hard. Rocky hard. Hunger cramps. No more gas.
Then we see it – the perfect campsite. It’s across the creek, flowing downhill on a smooth granite chute, in a little grove of trees. “There it is,” I point out. Home. I roll a boulder into a narrow spot in the creek and we hop across. The tarp is an easy one tree pitch, then pasta sides and bed.