16 October 2020
Roads End to Junction Meadow
(10.3 miles, +3,000/-500 feet).
I had several trips planned to the Sierra this August and September. But then California caught on fire, and I had to seek several alternatives in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Those trips have been great, but I was feeling really sad that I did not have a chance to do a solo trip this year.
And then I got a window! Smoke down, temperatures up = perfect conditions for a mid-October trip.
The National Forests are still mainly closed, and Sequoia is still very smoky due to the Castle and Rattlesnake Fires. But Kings Canyon is pretty far away, both from the Castle Fire and the Creek Fire. Just perfect for a late-season loop around to Rae Lakes.
Today was 7 hours of driving and then a sprint from Roads End up Bubbs Creek to Junction Meadow before sundown so I will have plenty of time to do a big day tomorrow. This is a lovely loop, but I do get a little ho-hum about it on the lower stretches in and out from Roads End.
I camped near three large bear boxes that had combination locks. I’m not sure if I am supposed to know the combinations, or if these are for trail workers, but it doesn’t matter since I have my own bear canister.
After I ate and settled in, three very nice hikers arrived late with headlamps and camped nearby, but they were careful to place their tents so that trees blocked my view of them. Unlike the world at large right now, it seems that the wilderness offers a guide for cooperation between strangers that I desperately hope can be a model for our polarized society….