Sunday, August 23, 2015


Pretty underwhelming trip to the Sierras this weekend. Since I taught this summer and will be traveling most of September, this was perhaps my best and possibly only opportunity to turn it into something really big. My next race is in three weeks (Plain--fire gods willing), so I thought this would be good timing for big training miles, too. So I drove an extra couple hours (5+ instead of the normal 3+) and headed to Sierra National Forest. However, the Rough Fire was uninterested in my plans, and the views in the normally stellar Kaiser, Ansel Adams, and John Muir wildernesses were terrible, as was the air quality.

Friday afternoon I did a short run to Potter Pass. I intended to bag Kaiser peak and do a fairly significant loop, but the trail signage was sub-par so I went the wrong way, and the trail was really sandy (and heavily horse-traveled?) so I wasn't really feeling it. Also, cows.  The lakes were pretty though.

Saturday I drove out to VVR and the end of Kaiser Pass Road. (Note to self: the last 15 miles of that road will take you a solid hour, and there are hundreds of free camping spots, so you should drive all the way out to the end the night before so as not to burn daylight.) I had a 60-mile loop in mind, with an option to turn it into a 35-40 mile loop if I wasn't feeling it. I went over Goodale Pass, down to Tully Hole, and over McGee pass. There, I definitely wasn't feeling the 60-mile loop, since I was not carrying enough calories (the one-pound bag of Wheat Thins was definitely not cutting it--should've really packed the cookies or nuts as well) and the air was terrible. However, my way to shorten the route was to go cross country over Hopkins pass, and from across the valley it really didn't look like it went. (Of course now that I'm home to look it up, RJ Secor says it goes and is only class 2. Oh well.) So we just turned around and went back the way we came, for a total of 45 miles. The smoke in the air made for a nice sunset.

Goodale Pass, Probably

Meadow below McGee Pass

Red Slate Mountain?

Coming down from McGee Pass towards Hopkins

Above Tully Hole

"Lake" Thomas WTF Edison
When I woke up Sunday morning the air seemed even worse, so I called it good. You couldn't see to the end of "Lake" Edison. I stopped at a trailhead on the way out and did a short hike to Mono Creek, but lower elevations were smokey too.

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