Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lyell Canyon to Evelyn Lake: High Sierra Loop~ Part 2 of 3

"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."
               ~ John Muir

Oh, that John Muir was a wise man! My nephew was the recipient of many such quotes as we hiked along the trail...

Here's the view from our first camp in Lyell Canyon, along the Tuolumne river~ looking towards Donahue Pass. Just gorgeous isn't it?

Crossing one of the many wonderful creeks along the trail.

Climbing higher, the trail intersected Ireland Creek which was thundering down the mountain. Having come from New Mexico where we are in a significant drought, I was totally in awe of the amount of refreshingly beautiful, life sustaining, powerful, clear water flowing from seemingly everywhere!

I chose this spot for a lunch break (push the play button for a quick 5 sec video.) It was awesome place to hang out a bit before continuing on up the trail!

A lovely flat meadow gives us a bit of respite in our upward climb before heading into snow country!

 As we climbed higher, amazing views opened up around us. It is estimated that the High Sierra received somewhere between 178 & 200 % of normal snowfall this year (depending on which website you look at.) 

That, combined with a cool spring means we were treated to snow in July... and quite a fair amount of it as we reached higher elevations!

I was fascinated by the Sun Cups in the snow & the interesting patterns they made. (Click twice on any image for detail & to bring a bit of the High Sierra to your home!)

My Nephew negotiating the Suncups on the "trail."

They were quite fun to hike across, though in some places the snow fields were long enough to obscure the trail completely & it was necessary to employ our stellar route finding skills to find the trail once again!

In some places snow melt took the path of least resistance, flowing down the trail itself.

Little Snow Bridge over unnamed creek.

You've got to pay attention when traveling over snow as it's melting, as in some place you can punch through to unstable footing below.

Our camp at Evelyn Lake~ click to enlarge to see the little yellow tent in a sea of snow and granite, trees and sky.

Walking around camp at sunset,

taking in the shadows & patterns made by shifting light on sun cups in the snow.

The last rays of sunlight, kissing mountain peaks goodnight.


clairz said...

Thank you, thank you for the Ireland Creek video--so exciting after seeing so many dry riverbeds here in New Mexico. At least we know that rain and snow still exist, even though they keep missing us.

This was a beautiful post, Becky. I am so grateful to you for sharing your adventures in such gorgeous country with us.

Anonymous said...

That is such beautiful country. A place I have read much about, but never seen. Thanks for the second part of the tour.

Hey, we have plenty of water here in Maine, but I still loved the creeks. Brooks, they call them in the east.

Wanda..... said...

Enjoyed all the photos and video, Becky...loved the snow caps and the little snow bridge over the creek, the snow melt flowing down the trail was great too!

marianne said...

beautiful becky, thanks so much for sharing. looks like it was a great trip-

tw3 said...

You have no idea how I appreciate your sharing this journey with us.
A place I will never have the good fortune to see for myself. Wonderful to be able to get so close-up. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to have us along.
Those 'sun cups' will undoubtedly give you ideas to translate into your scultpture. [notice I didn't say pots:-). You have moved on]

Barb said...

Becky, I've never heard them called "sun cups." I love that fitting name! I am a little wary of the snowfields - I've heard of people sliding and hurting themselves. But - you were in the midst of them and had to climb over. I tend to try and go around - too old for the adventure I guess. I so enjoyed your hiking/camping experience. My littlest Grands (4 and 5) are coming this weekend to "camp" in my back yard. Are you still in CA? Stay safe.

Ms. Becky said...

I've learned a new term - sun cups. they remind me of the flats that hold eggs in cases. I truly appreciate you sharing this hike, I feel as though I'm walking along with you. especially once the photos are enlarged. those are some really gorgeous shadows in that almost last shot. you don't mention it, and I'm wondering what the temps were like? it seems the nights might have still been cool. well, lovely light in all.
the stream video was cool too!

Randy said...

Such a wonderful place. To think Ansel Adams walked in the some of the same spots that you were in taking his photographs. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Pat said...

What beautiful photos! Hard to imagine snow on these awfully hot days!

Carola said...

Great hiking story with wonderful photos. I love hiking.

Annie said...

Becky, you are a lucky duck! So beautiful and I could just jump in that stream! It has cooled down a bit here and we had some rain! They opened the forest here in Taos.
Wonderful photos as always! Love those sun spots.

Rick said...

Just awesome Becky - and you hit my nostalgia nerve again - made me long for hikes in the Rockies near Banff ! Gorgeous country you hiked in and amazing to still see SO much snow. Beautifully captured.