Day 7 - August 17th
We did not put on my hiking shoes this morning since we had to cross the river. The water was cold but also gave us a surge of energy to our bodies! We noticed that the last two days, our early morning hike was through the forest. It was so peaceful! We truly embraced the moment. Nothing beat the beauty of early morning sun, pristine air in the forest and the only sound you would hear was the water from the river stream nearby. Even after 7 days in the wilderness, I personally felt so lucky to be here and experienced the truth wonder of mother nature. People hiked for many reasons. My feeling of beyond satisfaction was lingered in my mind for the last two days. My mind was as clear and free as i could remember. There was nothing to worry about your daily but the feeling of enriching your heart and purifying your soul. I told Cyndi if something happened to me now such as twisted my ankle or some sort of waterborne illnesses that i have to exit the trail, I am still happy. Every steps that I now marched forward sound like a bonus. I joked with Cyndi that I felt "levitate" and maybe I now knew the truth meaning of the word "enlightenment"!
We gradual climbed toward Evolution Lake (10,875ft). This was where we had a quick Lunch while drying our damp tents from the rain late yesterday. We were technically above the treeline and very exposed to the elements. There was nowhere for me to hang my water filtering while enjoying my Lunch so I came up with a create idea by tighten my two hiking poles to form a stand. My hands were now free so i could enjoy my Lunch while enjoying the spectacular surrounding view. Along the trail, we passed Sapphire Lake, Wanda Lake, Lake McDermand.
John Muir Memorial Shelter aka Muir Hut and Pass (11, 955 ft): The highlight of today was the climb to Muir Pass and visit Muir Hut. I saw pictures and always wanted to be here in person. I did not why but i felt a little bit in somber mood - "i am finally here". The shelter was originally designed for the main purpose of providing a memorial to John Muir, the great naturalist and the Sierra Club's first president. He also generally considered to be the father of the National Park System. The strangest thing we experienced again was that we were by ourself. We met hikers came down and chat but did not expect NOT seeing a single soul at Muir Pass. People advised us to get over the pass early in the morning since the weather in high sierra was very unpredictable. The weather was gorgeous for today's afternoon. I wanted to take a photo with Cyndi to commemorate our half way journey. Finally i had the chance to use my tripod. I felt like i did not carry this tripod as dead weight. The photo came out the way we wanted. The horrible stories i that read about trekking partner that made me worry replaced with trust and bond frienship. I did express my appreciation and was so glad that Cyndi came along to share this one of the lifetime journey with me. I thought that we might be the best trekking team on the trail.
The next 4 miles descent was very technical. The terrain was rough. It took us as long as we ascended to Muir Pass. There were patches of snow along the trail. We could not image how this place would look like in the Winter months! We finally reached our campground next to the beautiful water stream. Our camp was surrounded with trees so we felt very protected and private. We did our laundry, Dinner and called it the night! We were at mile 133 of JMT.