Well, it took me long enough to get to the last day. I finished the last entry, which covered the day before, about a week-and-a-half ago. (I had just been hiking at the eastern edge of Yosemite in that
In the interim, I went to an academic conference in Boston, taught classes during the week, and suffered my way through a sinus infection that left me with muffled hearing. No fun!
Now on to the subject: My last day, which I spent hiking–about 13 miles total. Most of it was spent on the Mist Falls
I referred to it to people I met on the trail as “preposterously gorgeous.” Here was the beginning.
I mean, that’s pretty enough, right? The thing is, it just kept getting better and better, in a way that I thought was hard to convey through stills. The only way I thought I could give you some idea was just to throw as many decent photos I have of the trail in there.
Now, let’s keep going.
Around here, you had to take a left, and head toward the falls. And not long after that, you started hearing the unmistakable sound of a mountain river.
The trail, meanwhile, started getting consistently steeper and rockier.
And there you were, standing on nothing but rock, staring out into the canyon.
After a bit, I found myself at the Mist Fall (but not as quickly as you might think here, to see the time jump), and it was time for a lunch. I put my feet in the water. Had a cranberry chicken salad sandwich and such, then headed back.
Once I got finished, though, I didn’t want to stop hiking. I remembered that there were other trails just a mile or so up the road from Road’s End (the end of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, where the Mist Trail began), near the Zumwalt Meadow trailhead.
I took one of these afterward, for another few miles. This easier trail, which hewed close to the byway for a bit, was an out-and-back to Roaring River Falls–which is more easily accessible via an asphalt trail nearby, but… I wanted to hike more.
That was about it. I drove back through the park and the Sequoia National Forest again via the byway, turning off only to make my way to a panoramic overlook near the John Muir Lodge. It was hazy out on the horizon, however, probably due to smoke from the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite.
This was also, I should note, a wildly weaving route, and getting down it–after hiking another two-thirds of a mile or so to get to the overlook–made me feel a bit cranky. I was getting tired, and it was time to head toward my next top. That was Fresno.
I only really saw the hotel I was staying