Day 44: Seen Faintly In The Golden Gleam

Mile reached: 878.7 (+15.0)

High: The descent though the Bear Creek drainage was beautiful in the morning sunlight.

Low: Discovering that there was a substantial river crossing just a mile and a half ahead in the morning.

Even though the sun was up, the morning began in the shade. Mount Seneger cast a shadow going all the way up to the pass. But the cold also meant that the snow was solid, and so the few miles went by quickly.

Seneger’s receding shadow

The north side of Selden Pass was incomparably more beautiful than south. The sun illuminated in hues of yellow granite peaks towering over thawing lakes. Rather than exposed and dry terrain, there were numerous creeks weaving through pine forest coalescing into the gargantuan Bear Creek.

The north side of Selden Pass and the alleged end of the major high passes

When I stopped for breakfast on the shore of a lake, I looked to see what was in store for the day. Much to my surprise, I discovered that the “wildest crossing on the PCT” was less than two miles away. In the preceding days, so many people had been taking about Evolution Creek, but not a one had mentioned Bear Creek. So, I figured I best not waste any time as the water level would only rise with the sun.

Maybe a half mile away from the ford I ran into my first JMTer going southbound. Even if the fact that he was going southbound wasn’t a dead giveaway, his pack was so huge that he’d give “Metric Ton” a run for his money. Anyway, it must be awful going southbound with everyone asking the exact same questions. Showing no signs of impatience, he let me know that the crossing would be deep and fast. It was. It was so deep that my shorts got wet, and unlike Evolution Creek the water was moving swiftly. It would be easy to lose your footing and get knocked over. So, I was glad to get to the other side and promptly searched for a place to dry out.

The ford in Bear Creek

While I was walking around, I heard someone call out. It was “Poseidon”! Apparently, his shin was feeling ok and he’d caught up doing one or two 30 mile days. We exchanged a few stories and said goodbye joking that we might not run into each other again until Northern California unless he slowed down. We’ll see.

The remainder of the day went by uneventfully. The trail lost elevation and descended into Aspen forest as it did the previous day. However, the vegetation never dried out. There was always forest of some sort, and mountain mahogany never took over.

I spent way too much time trying to avoid taking my shoes off for this one.
Bear Creek was beautiful, and trail hugged it for miles.
Aspen!

I reached the Mono Creek bridge and called it a day. Even though I was only a mile or so away from the VVR ferry, I knew for certain that there were no mosquitoes here. If it hadn’t been so breezy, I probably would have had a fire too.

The canyon through which Mono Creek flows

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