In the previous episode or group split into 2, and 4 people of us left the trekking.4 heroes remain... Then only 2. This is the story of the last 200 km to Yosemite, across the John Muir Wilderness.
Day 11 - our friends are leaving the trail, we continue the adventure in 4 people.
We are getting closer to the John Muir Pass, the highest in our trekking, after these big lakes.
On top of the pass there is a "trullo"! We have no idea why a typical ancient rural building of Puglia Region sits on top of the California Alps, but so it is: all the architectural details are there. Franco on top waving the flag of Sardinia.
Inside a sign says that it's not allowed to sleep there. We sleep there... Italians! :-)
Actually my friends sleep there: I put my sleeping bag outside, wear all the cloths I have and spend a night under the stars at almost 4000 metres. It is monstrously cold... but so beautiful!
Day 12 - no trees.
We have no mirror: to see what I look like after 12 days walking I take a photo of myself. (the concept of selfie didn't exist in 2007)
Finally we descend again at an altitude suitable for trees.
We miscalculated our supplies: we are having great dinner, but almost nothing for breakfast and lunch. So we rely on wild plants that Franco recognises as edible: it is always a good idea to take an agronomist with you in a long trekking! ;-)
Day 13 - Franco and the pot.
Doesn't it look like the "Pan's Labyrinth" poster?
Very tall pines
Fording this creek, you get to some warm volcanic springs...
...the water looks muddy and disgusting, but when you get in it's nice and pleasant.
From the springs, with a short walk we get to the "John Muir Ranch", a refuge that is only 10 km on foot and a lake faraway from a road.
Here Frederica decides to leave the trekking and Maurilio goes with her: only two remain, and feel a bit like Highlander ;-)
We check the common baggage, look at the map and...
...and we are ready: still half of the trail awaits us!
Day 14 - terrain
Two beautiful lakes just before a new 4000 metres pass.
View from the pass: what an amazing place!
The lake is full very big trouts. They look relaxed and you can get so close that it seams you can touch them... but these trouts aren't interested in food!
We spend one hour in this strange situation: without being able to catch one single fish in a place that looks like the fisher's paradise.
At the very end Franco become saint and walks on the water. ;-)
Day 15 - getting closer to our supplies.
Yes, we are leaving the trail soon for a little detour: it will lead us to a lake and there a boat will take us to Vermilion Resort. This is the place where we have sent all the supplies for the second part of the trekking.
Soon we'll have breakfast in the morning once again!
A magical inhabitant of the forest
Bad news: after the above said detour we find that the lake is dry!
So no cruise on a boat: we have to walk for kilometres sometime in the dust, sometime in the mud, to reach...
... To reach a van that cross a sort of desert to the resort. Once a beautiful place on a lake shore, now a sort of dusty village in a desert.
But our food is there! Food for 8 people!
We take what we can and give the rest to other walkers.
Day 16 - again in the forest, but now enjoying a 2 kg cheese mould, 8 months old, from Pienza. Delicious!!!
We didn't want to cross again the "lake" (the dusty desert). So I suggest to Franco to cut out of any marked trail to a pair of lakes that look nice on the map: we'll rejoin the John Muir Trail from there tomorrow.
So we get to this magnificent place, amazing beautiful, where no one ever goes.
Here is the lake at our left, but we are camping at the one on the right (see previous photo)
Shore of our lake.
Sunset on the water. Circles made by fishes.
Anyone said "fishes"?
Dinner around the fire.
(Yes, I had to run very fast to make this photo)
Day 17 - meditating squirrel
We stop at this huge lake for lunch and meet here Jo, a 29 years of girl that is walking the John Muir on her own... And she got here in 12 days only, walking about 30 km per day!!
We mark on the map a place where to have dinner together.
Along the trail
Isn't it an amazing place?
Here is Jo for our dinner together.
The next morning, when I open my eyes, she is already reedy to go.
I say hello to her and take another nap.
Day 18 - a weird place introduce a volcanic area.
Devil's Postpile, with the famous hexagonal rocks: these are the fallen ones.
And these are the standing ones.
The top of Devil's Postpile reminds an ancient Roman road.
Day 19 - these mysterious and stingy fruits are sweet and delicious (but not easy to deal with).
And beautiful lakes.
This is Shadow Lake, with some glaciers in the background...
... But the water is not cold: perfect for a swim!
At night we camp close to this lake, this place is quite Lord of the Rings style, isn't it?
Day 20 - we meet again Jo: she went out of the John Muir to resupply, and now is back here walking 30 km per day! Have a look at the mussels on her legs!
She says hello and leave walking much faster than us.
Again the Lord of the Rings lake, from a different point of view.
... And from one more different pint of view.
Yes, I really like it
Along the trail...
On this pass Franco wanted a photo beside the sign "Welcome to Yosemite", but it seams that someone has stolen the sign.
He then uses the Sardinia flag.
Eating roasted pumpkin seeds. In Italy we call them "bruscolini", I love it!
Franco on day 21
Day 22 - close to the end of hour journey. Cloudily weather for the first time since we have started.
Our camp. We didn't use the tent, but set it up, just in case.
At sunset we leave the camp to reach the Half Dome, the symbol of Yosemite. The plan is to climb it under the moonshine.
You cannot imagine that the top is 400 metres higher, can you?
This photo looks pretty artificial, but is not: no editing but stitching.
The strange light effect is because of the twilight and moonlight from opposite direction.
One of the photo of the previous panorama.
Day 23 - last day of trekking, and finally I manage to take a picture of this squirrel: the nicest one, but the most difficult to get.
This fat squirrel has just stolen some food from us.
Also this kind of bird is specialised in stealing food: we are in a day-walk area and these animals are more habit to people.
What's happening here? Let's get closer...
... And here we are. What an impressive waterfall!
The same waterfall, more faraway.
Fern. You know, I love ferns!
Fantastic 60 m of water slide! It eventually ends among barbed rocks, but is very nice before that :-)
One more waterfall, even more magnificent than the periods one.
Let's go to the little lake at the bottom.
It is 80 metres high
Yes, the little head in the waterfall is mine. There are other visitors, but no one manage to follow me.
It is quite difficult to breath there, but it's so beautiful!!
Day 24 - back to civilisation: we sleep in a campground and use toilettes... We don't like it, we feel constrained. We lack the freedom of last 3 weeks.
I don't feel to take any photo, till next morning, when I see the biggest squirrel I've ever seen.
We relax with a short walk without baggage.
... And we see the footprints of a bear.
Then a storm arrives and we decide that it's time to leave these mountains... When we can still do it dry.
Here the Half Done with its 750 m of vertical wall.
A couple of buses and a train and we are in Los Angeles. We meet Maurilio and Federica and go to the famous Venice Beach, the one of Baywatch.
How is it? Really ugly :-)
Perchè si chiama Venice Beach? Per le gondole, è ovvio...