Saturday, September 15, 2012

John Muir Trail - Day 4

August 13, 2012 –Rush Creek Fork to Garnet Lake

Mileage:  6                 Elevation:  9600 feet
Got up to clear skies!  We took time to dry everything out in the warm sunshine.  Bear barrels cooperated, Steripen did not.  This was our new water treatment system, a magic wand of UV rays that cleaned water in less than 2 minutes!  It was time to change batteries and when resealing the unit the main screw would not catch to close it.  We ended up tightly duct taping it down….works great, looks ugly! We have back up iodine, but don’t want to use it over a long period of time.


Banner Peak

We headed out around 8:30, crossing the creek and then climbing up to big broad Island Pass.  We knew Thousand Island Lake was just on the other side and it pulled us over like a magnet.  At first view we stopped for second breakfast.  Banner Peak stood proudly over the lake.  Banner in the Sky, one of our favorite books.  We continued to enjoy great vistas of the lake as we dropped down to the shore.  Ansel Adams photographed this scene and made this area very popular. 
Reflection in Thousand Island Lake
We climbed up out of the lake basin and almost immediately dropped down to beautiful Emerald Lake.  Then up and over another ridge to Ruby Lake, nestled deep within rock walls.  A steep climb led us up and over the next ridge to Garnet Lake.  This is another perfect combination of lake and peaks, recognizable in many Sierra photos.  Mt Ritter and Banner Peak tower over Garnet Lake making a gorgeous combination.
Ritter and Banner Peaks over Garnet Lake

Clouds had been piling up and thunder was in the distance as we arrived.  We knew of great campsites on the north shore.  We hiked in and set up camp next to our own private swimming pool.  We took a quick dip in the fading sunshine.  As soon as we got settled huge thunderstorms rolled through with wind, rain and lightning strikes.  We were happily tucked in with maps, puzzles and reading.  We found a protected area to cook dinner as the rain let up and the sky turned orange with the sunset.  A beautiful evening. 

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