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Rlhdancer - Other Trail Journal - 2016

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Split & Two Step
City: Pleasanton
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Jul 12, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Jul 21st, 2016
Start: Emerald Lake
End: Stuart Fork Trailhead
Daily Distance: 12.5
Trip Distance: 114.3
Hours Hiked: 5.05
Daily Ascent: 519
Daily Descent: 3209
Max Elevation: 5482

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 400
Journal Visits: 5,158
Guestbook Views: 21
Guestbook Entrys: 2

View: 1  2  3  4  5 
(Click image for full size)


Morris Meadow with the EmeraldSapphire mountains behind

Leaving the Trinities

Leaving the Trinities

Last evening we ate dinner looking west over Emerald Lake, and after the sun set over the high ridge line , watched the line of sunset slowly climb up Sawtooth Ridge. It was not as fast paced as an action movie, but the relentless line of shadow creeping up this vast feature was nonetheless captivating. A minor but clever actor in this drama was a doe who seemed very interested in two hikers sitting quietly on a rock. She came closer and closer to us, and then seemed to lose interest in us and started to munch on some shrubbery a few feet away. Here she stayed for thirty minutes until the sunset had concluded and we moved to exit our grand theater. Amazing.

We woke up uncharacteristically late this morning at 6:30, to a 51F cool morning, and ate ProBars in bed for breakfast. We still were packed up and hiking downhill towards the trailhead and our car by 7:38. We were careful and reserved in our pace as we worked our way down the steep trail composed of boulders for the first 45 minutes. We had just come up this trail two days ago, but going downhill is more tricky, and the first twenty minutes of hiking is always the trickiest. After my fall three days ago, I was more than happy to take it slow.

By the time we had progressed to the close (north) end of Morris Meadow, about four miles into our hike, the trail became smooth and soft with duff, and we saw at least a half dozen campers standing in the deep shade of the forest, looking as if they just woke up. At the south end of Morris Meadow we got off trail to explore the large campsites located a rather far distance from the water source, Stuart Fork, and were glad we had stayed further down at Oak Flats on our way up the canyon three days ago. A young women and a man were camping there with there dog, and as we passed by they confirmed they were headed for Emerald Lake. An hour later we saw another set of campers preparing to hike uphill. It was going to be crowded tonight at the lakes! We certainly picked the right days to visit and have solitude at these "Jewels of the Trinities".

As we walked we were surrounded by a natural garden. A field of bright yellow flowers, knee high ferns, purple flowering plants with square stems that resembled mint and smelled like lemony peppermint, and of course numerous stalks of tiger lilies. We tried to identify the hardwoods among the pine and were not surprised to find an abundance of oak. Stuart Fork was our constant bubbling, rushing companion as it fell 2700 feet beside the path we trod.

We made excellent time, traveling at just over 3 mph, and stopped at 11:00 for lunch, just shortly after we saw our first hikers actually moving on the trail. We were down to 3000 feet, and the day had already turned warm. Our early start was propitious. Soon we were back on the trail and hiking like horses heading for the barn. We reached our car at about 12:45, and we stowed our gear one last time for this adventure in the back seat of our car.

The trail had been awesome, but our next adventure awaits. In just five days we will be on a plane for a month-long visit to the British Isles. Still, leaving is bittersweet. I think that every great adventure deserves a poem or a song to commemorate it in our minds and hearts. So in remembrance of this year's multistage adventure through the Trinities:

The Trinity Alps are what we seek,

Though we are here for just over a week.

We'll laugh and hike our days away,

And enjoy the views throughout our stay.

When time and chance again allow,

We'll return again these trails to follow.


From the Trinity Alps,

Split and Two Step

Entry 13 of 14
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Journal Photo

Split And Two Step's Trinity Alps Trek

Other Trail is located off the beaten path, somewhere between the soles of your feet and your imagination.

 

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