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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

The Hike Begins

August 1st, 2009 · No Comments

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The hike starts Sunday afternoon from Kennedy Meadow at the entrance to the Emigrant Wilderness and will come out on August 15 at the Green River Trailhead. It’s 50 miles away from Kennedy Meadow by road and 100 miles by the trails we will take.

I arrived in Bridgeport, California, early this afternoon. The motel where I am spending the night is about 14 miles from Green Creek. As soon as I arrived in Bridgeport I made sure that I knew exactly where to meet the rest of the group at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

I will leave my SUV at the Green Creek Trailhead at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and catch a ride with another member of the group to Kennedy Meadow. As a result, when we come out of the wilderness I will be able to leave directly from this trailhead.

The group consists of just six people, Trip Leader Marv Shinnerer, Assistant Trip Leader John Horrell, and three Sierra Club members, Ravindra Vasavada, Susan DeWind, and Ginger Harmon, besides myself. Plus five mules.

The logistics of arranging all of this have been formidable for me and even more so for Marv and John. We have exchanged literally dozens of email messages and phone calls over the past few months, in fact since December, when I signed up for the hike immediately after reading about it in the Sierra Club magazine.

Bridgeport is only about 115 miles from Reno, where I stayed the previous two nights. But I made three detours today that added 310 more miles on my SUV’s odometer.

First I drove almost all the way around the largest Alpine Lake in North America. It’s so big that two states have to share it; two-thirds are in California, and one-third is in Nevada. Lake Tahoe is 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. The surface of the lake is 6,223 feet.

Lake Tahoe from the Nevada Side

Lake Tahoe from the Nevada Side

Emerald Bay is on the California Side

Emerald Bay is on the California Side

When I got to the motel in Bridgeport, the owner said my room wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours. No problem. After checking out the trailhead, I drove further south to Mono Lake, which I have wanted to see since I was a boy growing up in Southern California.

The most amazing thing about Mono Lake is the tufa tower formations. Fresh water springs containing calcium bubble up through the carbonate-rich lake water to form the towers of calcium carbonate.

Tufa Formations in Mono Lake

Tufa Formations in Mono Lake

Tufa, Mono Lake, and the Sierras

Tufa, Mono Lake, and the Sierras

In itself my trip to Mono Lake was a detour. But on my way back from the lake to Bridgeport I decided that I had enough time to take a detour from the detour and visit one of the best preserved ghost towns of the west, Bodie.

Founded 150 years ago, Bodie flourished until the 1880s. Bodie began as a mining camp following the discovery of gold in 1859 by a group of prospectors, including W. S. Bodey. Miners found more than $100 million worth of gold here.

A View of Some Mines, the Mill, and a Few of the Remaining Bodie Buildings

A View of Some Mines, the Mill, and a Few of the Remaining Bodie Buildings

The Wheaton & Hollis Hotel

The Wheaton & Hollis Hotel

The 1882 Methodist Church

The 1882 Methodist Church

Lots of adventures today. But tomorrow the big one starts. So I’m signing off until then. Much more at that time

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