Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 7 : South Fork San Joaquin River

Saturday July 5, 2014
16 Miles Today
136 Total Miles

What a great day today. Started the day by waking warm enough at over ten thousand feet. Marie Lake is beautiful at night because it is open and you can see a lot of the sky. The moon was noticeable through the thin cuben fiber material of my tent. I awoke and was up and on the move before the sun came up. I crossed Selden Pass and descended into the equally beautiful but completely different Sallie Keys lakes. 

My plan today started as a simple hike down To the southern junction with the Florence lake trail that takes you to Muir Trail Ranch. On the way down I met up with Felix and Kevin whom I hadn't seen since Rosalie lake. They had dropped off Tommy at VVR and were back in the trail to resupply at Onion Valley via Kersarge Pass. We split at the junction with the understanding that we just might see each other again sometime at the end of the week.

I got to the camp I was going to sit at for a day and got bored in about fifteen minutes. I would rather hike. I hiked in to Muir Trail Ranch and retrieved my resupply bucket. While there I met up with Dan who I last saw at PCT mile 875 with the cell coverage. Dan is also summiting Whitney on the thirteenth so perhaps I will be seeing more of him as well. I left MTR after cramming my Bear Canister full, with fifteen pounds and a total of eight days worth of food. 

I met the Burket family at the Puite trail junction with the JMT. They are a family of six that are out here backpacking together. They came out here from Ohio to hike. As we talked it was obvious to me that we were Christian brothers and sisters. Daniel, their oldest begins his second year at Ohio state in the fall. They are a pleasure to be with. We chatted for a few minutes there at the junction. Before I headed off on my own. Dan said they were planning on camping at Aspen Meadow. 

As I hiked I realized that what I really wanted to do tonight was camp where ever they were camping. I stopped and dilly-dallied around at Aspen Meadows. Waiting for them. While I waited Dan came by and he mentioned that he might try to exit a day early. I told him that if he changed his mind perhaps we could camp together. He headed off up the trail.

A few minutes later the Burkets showed up being led by the indefatigable Maria their artsy seventeen year old who reminds me of my own Kristin when she was seventeen, the four kids are all two years apart. Grace and Alexis are their two youngest and they bring life and laughter to the conversation. 

We hung out laughing and sharing by the campfire until way past hiker midnight. It was like having church on Saturday night.

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