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rubywrangler
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 1:06 am 
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I was cuddled up next to the heater at North Cascades Mountain Hostel in Winthrop on a cloudy weekend in mid-October when Jake sent me some photos from the Sierras. Sunny skies and zero snow? Yes please. Iíve been working remotely for the past 3 years, but had never attempted to work on the road. Over the next week I made some hasty upgrades to the RV aspects of my CRV and then headed south. There were a few technological hiccups but overall it worked out, thanks to unlimited VZW service courtesy of Visible and a few handy boondocking apps.

My first (very brief) stop was at Crater Lake for sunrise and a quick hike up Garfield peak. Had lunch at The Grocery Pub in Klamath Falls, yum.
crater lake
crater lake

I spent the next day at Lassen NP - Lassen Peak in the morning and Bumpass Hell after lunch. Lassen is an easy hike and the trail was pretty empty on my way up, but lots of folks were heading up as I was descending. The boiling mud pools of Bumpass Hell were much more interesting, and definitely worth visiting despite the crowds (which in my case included a literal busload of German teenagers). That night I camped at a luxurious BLM ORV trailhead campsite near Doyle, CA with brand new amenities - toilet, picnic table, fire ring, AND full size grill!

lassen summit beyond the snowfield
lassen summit beyond the snowfield
"devastated area" per usfs map
"devastated area" per usfs map
crater from summit
crater from summit
bumpass hell
bumpass hell
bumpass hell
bumpass hell

On Day 3 I headed for Yosemite. As soon as I turned onto Hwy 120 and the sparkling granite rose up around me, I was kicking myself for waiting 15 years to come back to the site of my first mountain adventures! Now itís probably be going to be an annual pilgrimage. It was already 3pm when I got to Tioga Pass, so I decided to do the short 5.5ish mile hike to May lake and Mt. Hoffman. Only a handful of other people were on the trail, probably because it was cold and incredibly windy - 40+ mph sustained with gusts up to 70 mph, I learned later. It was the last weekend of October, when there was a huge windstorm in CA. When I got to the summit my fingers were completely numb so I didn't linger, just took a few photos and headed down - jogging and flapping my arms like a maniac to get the blood flowing.  After about 20 minutes my fingers came back to life and the pain had started to subside so I was able to stop and catch the last sunset colors on Half Dome - so gorgeous!

May lake
May lake
lake 9820 from mt hoffman 10,850
lake 9820 from mt hoffman 10,850
mt hoffman summit view
mt hoffman summit view
hoffman summit pano
hoffman summit pano
may lake
may lake

The next day I decided to check out the Cathedral Range using a route described by John Morrow in a 2013 TR.  From the Cathedral lakes trailhead I picked up the JMT for a short distance, then left the trail and headed through forest to the north ridge of Cathedral peak. After a fun walk over "North Cathedral", I took the Cathedral climber's trail down to around 10,200', then headed south toward the Echo Peaks. I went up Echo Peak #8, had lunch and checked in with coworkers via Skype, then continued to Echo Ridge summit. Then I headed back to Wilts Col (the saddle between the Echo Peaks and Echo Ridge) and descended to Budd Lake partly on trail, partly through meadows. From Budd lake, a trail leads back to the JMT.  The views were stunning this whole day, and I only saw a couple other people on nearby summits - no one else along my route.

cathedral north ridge
cathedral north ridge
mt. hoffman, tuolumne peak, tuolumne meadows
mt. hoffman, tuolumne peak, tuolumne meadows
north cathedral peak
north cathedral peak
north cathedral summit pano
north cathedral summit pano
echo peaks, next stop
echo peaks, next stop
other echo peaks from 8
other echo peaks from 8
echo ridge
echo ridge
Echo ridge summit pano
Echo ridge summit pano
echo ridge register
echo ridge register
looking back to echo peaks
looking back to echo peaks
budd lake to cathedral
budd lake to cathedral
cathedral
cathedral

On my last day in Yosemite I hiked to Clouds Rest, which had more hikers than I had seen the previous 2 days combined, but was still surprisingly uncrowded. The trail itself is not especially scenic, but the views from the summit ridge and summit make up for it. Tenaya canyon, wow! On the way out, I hung a right on the Tenaya lake trail and made a loop around the pretty lake on the way back to the car. My last stop was Olmsted point for sunset. Then I headed to Mammoth to plan the next leg of my trip.

tenaya canyon to half dome
tenaya canyon to half dome
mt watkins
mt watkins
looking back along the ridge
looking back along the ridge
mt. hoffman, tenaya lake
mt. hoffman, tenaya lake
stately pleasure dome
stately pleasure dome
stately
stately
olmsted point
olmsted point
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neek
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 8:28 am 
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nice road trip. did roughly the same thing 15 years ago but over 2 weeks. that's a lot of driving for 4 days!
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raising3hikers
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 11:15 am 
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up.gif  i'd like to do a road trip like that some day.  go wherever you want, whenever you want, do as much or as little as you want.  thanks for sharing

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Eric Eames
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 11:47 am 
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up.gif  Nice Yosemite sampler.  Looking forward to reading about your continuing adventures in the Sierras.
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rubywrangler
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 12:23 pm 
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neek wrote:
that's a lot of driving for 4 days!

oh this was the beginning of a month long trip, i didn't just go down and back for 3 days of hiking. but it turns out the driving is not so bad if you break it up with half days of hiking or working!

raising3hikers wrote:
go wherever you want, whenever you want, do as much or as little as you want

the problem (for me anyway) is that you always want to go further and do more!
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Jake Robinson
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 12:24 pm 
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Nice! I've been waiting for this one. My trip down there ended up being kind of a misadventure for several reasons, looks like yours went much better. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Nancyann
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PostThu Dec 05, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Looks like you had an awesome month! Iíve been looking at your pics on Flickr and hoping to see some trip reports! up.gif
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