8/7/14 The third day took us out of Jack Main Canyon and up to the high point of 9,000' in Tilden Canyon, one of the most remote areas in the Lower 48 states, and then down into Tiltill Valley.
1 Sunrise on Wilmer Lake. Glass smooth water with perfect relections, and we still had the entire lake to ourselves.
2 Looking further North across the lake.
3 Later in the morning and the colors are eye-popping. The scenery looks pretty much identical upside-down or rightside-up!
4 Dad taking in the scenery.
5 The sun is getting higher and in addition to the reflections on the water, you can see the greens from the bottom of the lake.
6 Definitely one of my favorite spots from recent trips.
7 It was tough to pull ourselves away from the lake, but at last we did. Now we're climbing up and out of the lake basin.
8 Some great forest single track as we briefly follow the PCT.
9 Heading into Tilden Canyon, one of the most remote areas in the Lower 48 states. Almost 20 trail miles from the nearest road or building of any type.
10 Like yesterday, this day would be full of a seemingly endless string of beautiful, yet unnamed, ponds and lakes.
11 The next lake for the day.
12 Another amazingly clear lake.
13 I never get tired of these lakes.
14 I have definitely never been on a trail with more lakes per mile than this. And all the lakes are still full in this dry year. And we haven't seen a human in over 24 hours at this point.
15 Fresh bear scat complete with orange berries from the bushes we've been seeing. We saw evidence of bears all day but never did actually see a bear.
16 Lakes, lakes, and more lakes.
17 Climbing out of Tilden Canyon and into the far North end of Tiltill Valley. Lots of classic Sierra scenery complete with granite domes.
18 Dad almost to the high point of the loop at just under 9,000' near Tiltill Mountain. Not bad for a 75 year old!! He makes me swear to be doing this when I'm 75. I'm not so sure...
19 Canyons and valleys as far as the eye can see.
20 One more lake. I actually thought there was one more after this where we could fill water for the day. But this turned out to be the last lake, which meant we would have a hard time finding water. We had filtered water at Wilmer Lake in the morning, but now needed enough to get through camp tonight and well into tomorrow.
21 The largest mushroom I have ever seen. About the size of a frisbee!
22 We followed what would normally be a small creek along the trail for a couple miles hoping to find some flowing water to filter. The creek was almost entirely dry and after scouting ahead for a ways, it looked like this was our last chance for water for the day. Completely still, dark brown color, mosquitos flying all over the surface, and bugs swimming in the water itself. This was definitely a test of the filtration system!
23 After filling-up with reasonbly clean water, we kept on moving. The trail is starting to dissapear in the meadows.
24 Barely discernible trail. Forget single track, this is maybe quarter track.
25 We spot an occasional Sequoia along the trail. Though small for a Sequoia, this one is bigger than almost every other tree around.
26 The first views of the Tiltill Valley floor and the Hetch Hetchy lake in the far distance.
27 The day was starting to get late, and it was time to look for a campsite. We had passed-up some options a couple miles back, but now there was nothing but rocky switchbacks. The sounds of thunder meant another afternoon storm was moving-in. We debated about trying to make it down to the valley floor, but ultimately decided to find a spot asap. We almost ended-up camping right on the trail in one of the switchback turns. Then at the last minute, we found a great outcropping hanging over the valley.
28 Dad helping setup the tent at our excellent campsite. We were hoping to go without the rainfly tonight.
29 Beautiful sunset over Tiltill Valley.
30 Tent in the sunset. The hopes of going without the rainfly ended as soon as the distant thunder was nearly overhead, and it started to rain.
31 Our dinner table for the night. Like last night, we waited out the rain and then cooked a late dinner.
32 Glowing tent after sundown. End to another beautiful and eventful day.