My wife and I chose this particular hike for our Labor Day Weekend retreat because of our previous year visit. We had been very impressed by the diverse geology, incredible profusion of wildflowers, and impressive high alpine views. However, we only made it 3 miles in before we had to turnaround.
We followed the twists and turns of Megee Creek up and up, and it was not long before we became oblivious to the heavy loads we carried on our backs because of the beautful views. We eventually made it to Big Megee Lake and setup camp alongside its shores.
The next day we slept in, waiting for some high Sierra howling winds to subside, and eventually got out of the tent, fixed breakfast, and prepared for a day hike over Megee Pass.
Fortunately, our backpacks have a great little feature that allows you to convert your top loader to a convenient fanny pack just big enough for a camel bladder, lunch, some extra clothes, and a camera. I love my Whitney pack made by Gregory. It has a lot of great features that customize to your varying needs.
We set out on our day hike, and immediately were captivated by the scenery that was presented. Waterfalls and wildflower laden meadows quickly converted to barren scree as we climbed higher and higher.
Because of the substantial amount of snow we received this past winter, there were several snow crossings to be made. Nevertheless, they were fairly straight forward, and the only notable aspect was the red algae that does not cease to amaze me. The fact that an organism can thrive off of frozen water at elevations surpassing 12,000 feet is a unique attribute to say the least.
Megee Pass is an easy enough climb and well worth the trip. Once you crest the pass you are presented with beautiful views into the opposing basin. We shielded ourselves from the wind behind some conveniently placed rocks, enjoyed some lunch, and in an hour-and-a-half we were back at the campsite taking a swim and enjoying some wine.
For the trip I took along with me Kurt Vonnegut’s new book, A Man Without a Country. He’s old and bitter, survived the bombing of Dresden, and decidedly against Bush and many other politicians of today. One comment that he made that did resonate with me was, “I know of very few people that are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren.” It made me stop and wonder, is this true? Am I? Maybe when I have kids I will have those dreams, but for now it seems like the world will be an awful place. Crowded, polluted, and incredibly violent.
The next day we made the inevitable hike out back to civilization. A civilization filled with cold beer, greasy burgers, and salty fries. Yum!We passed a horse train that was carrying backpacks for a group of men in their seemingly 50s. I know I am bitchy about things, and most definitely a hypocrite, but I can’t help but get a little irked at the fact that these once great symbols of the West are making money taking people’s crap out into the woods because they don’t have the motivation or wherewithal to carry their own shit. Those guys were hiking along at a fine clip, they just happened to have the money and the ability to pay someone else to do the heavy lifting. But in the John Muir Wilderness?
The outdoors should be open to everyone no matter their physical abilities. But in this day and age I simply believe that people should not be involved in a commercial enterprise that is directly connected to a wilderness area set aside with tax payers money. I’m sorry if you are in a wheelchair, overweight, or old, but there are certain places for certain things. You have boundaries with specified rules. How about the property line that runs around your house?