Day 158: Let Me Finish Before I Get Eaten, Please

Date: September 19, 2017
Miles: 962.8 – 985.5

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” ~ Ansel Adams

My wake-up time in the morning has been getting later and later as the temperature drops and the darkness lingers until close to seven. Today I slept until 6:30 and didn’t get going until 7:30. I was sluggish most of the morning and my legs nearly refused to finish climbing up to Benson Pass, but I kept reminding them that they didn’t have much of a choice at this point.

I’ve been feeling fairly lethargic for a couple days now, and I’m hoping that’s just the result of near-daily walking for five months.  Like anything else, it too shall pass.

We had lunch at Benson Lake, a spot that the ranger on Donohue Pass recommended to us as one of her favorite places in north Yosemite. It was such a surprise to see a big alpine lake with a white sand beach!

Benson Lake.

We relaxed there for nearly two hours before reluctantly hiking on. We had another pass and two hills to climb after that before getting to camp, so we had to get a move on. Seavey Pass was our first Sierra Pass under 10,000 feet, and the trees, flowers and lakes made it hard to remember that we were even crossing one.

We had two short, steep climbs of about two miles each after that and when it got dark on the descent of the second climb, we decided to camp next to the creek at the bottom.  JD was sure he saw eyeballs reflecting his headlamp light back to him, so I set up my tent really close to theirs and placed my bear can farther away than usual.  I’ve come too far to get eaten by something now!

Smedberg Lake.

The hiker messages are getting more elaborate.

Taking a tiny dip in Benson Lake.