Day 112, 9/18, Palisade Creek, M-826, 28mi

Today was a classic Sierra hiking day. The trail followed a creek (Evolution Creek) upstream for many miles (16) passing alpine lakes on a series of benches. Then finally topping out on a high mountain pass… Muir Pass in this case. 

 Evolution Creek cascading down the mountain. 

Look who I crossed paths with this morning…
Just Bob! We met back in Tehachapi. Bob is 66 and crushes miles..i hope I’m in that kind of shape in 20+ years! 
 
The sun began to warm me up as I entered Evolution Meadow. 

 

I took a relaxing break on the shores of Evolution Lake.
This trail must have passed half a dozen or more major alpine lakes today. 

 

 Looking back on the final approach to Muir Pass (~12,000′). 

 

The Muir Pass hut.
It was fairly windy at the top so the shelter made a nice wind break.
The whole area is kind of a moonscape.
There was still some small snowfields to cross. 

 

 After a couple thousand feet of descending it was great to see something green again.
The famous Monster Rock of the JMT. I was glad I could point out the landmark to this 10 year old Australian boy and his family who are hiking the whole JMT. 

 

 The heart of Kings Canyon N.P. 

 

 I was in the shadows earlier than normal today because the canyon walls are so steep.
I was glad to find an unoccupied campsite around 6:45 because there are quite a few JMT hikers out here. It’s getting fairly dark by 7:15 now. 

 

So, tomorrow will be my last night on trail. Kind of hard to believe! The trail won’t be taking it easy on me just because I’m almost done. I have four more major passes (all ~12,000′ high) to go over in these last two days with 11,000′ of climbing.
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