On our two week trek through the High Sierra, when day 11 dawned at Hook Lake we celebrated another birthday. It was Marv’s 73rd.
Somebody suggested that we sing happy birthday to him. Not to spoil the effect, John and I each lip-synced.
We camped just a few feet from Hook Lake.
We hiked this day down from Hook Lake to Return Creek at 9,380 feet in Virginia Canyon, our final campsite. I love the creeks but while crossing one on this day I slipped on a rock and got two bootfulls of water up to about a foot. Fortunately, I was able to use the extra pair of sock that I carry in my pack, but my boots hadn’t dried out five hours later when we reached camp.
Our camp along Return Creek was just inside the Yosemite Wilderness. We lacked the necessary permits to camp further up the trail into the Hoover Wilderness. The Return Creek campsite was our third layover. But I didn’t lay over and stay in bed. Up at first light about 5:45, as soon as I breakfasted I wandered along Return Creek taking pictures of the many flowers growing there.
That evening an inquisitive deer wandered right into our camp.
In the middle of our supposed day of rest along Return Creek, Marv, Susan, RC, and I hiked a way up the canyon. But after two creek crossings, I turned back at the third one and instead hiked cross-country to bypass the two crossings on the way up.
When I got back to camp, I saw some chips of obsidian, a black glass-like rock, on the kitchen table. Marty had found half a dozen flakes of stone tools that Native Americans had made from obsidian, which comes from the low land on either side of these mountains and is here only because someone carried it. Marty had found what archaeologists call a factory site near the “high line” that he had strung up to contain his five mules. He took me there. After looking hard for more than half an hour, I found three nice chips myself.
Continued in the sixth and final essay in this series.