Miles: 18.66
Camping: PCT mile 905.92

This morning was Devil’s Postpile, a part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I’ve never seen it before, and though I have seen beautiful basalt formations in Oregon, I had high hopes for the National Monument. Pockets felt like she might hold me back with her foot pain, so today I was on my own. I had been thinking of taking a solo day anyhow, so this worked out for me. I had Yosemite on the brain.

Devil’s Postpile was a major letdown as far as monuments go. I have hiked the Labyrinth in Washington which I found to be far more impressive, though the octagonal shaped rocks were still pretty cool and the walk was nice. It didn’t matter, I was one milestone closer to my return to Yosemite, and I could feel it growing closer.

The day was hot as I climbed up a mountainside across green grassy meadows. There were so many wildflowers today; tiger lily, mariposa lily, lupine, flowering sage, forget me nots, indian paintbrush, mules ears, and many more I couldn’t identify. It was a lovely show all across the mountain, especially as a view opened up with an alpine lake spilling a waterfall down the opposite cliffs. I was quite mesmerized by the day, and really enjoying a good walk on my own.

The bugs were out full force by lunch where I had to eat under my headnet, taking bites of food as flies tried to get bites of me. The biting flies really latch on and are easy to kill once they land, but you don’t typically notice them until they bite, and it hurts! They seem to be attempting to take away an entire chunk of skin when they bite. I battled them and mosquitoes for most of the day, but never stopped being enamored with the scenery. Water was a bit more few and far between today, so twice I ran out. It was a hot day so it definitely made it harder to hunt water sources. By the time I reached Thousand Island Lake, I was feeling run down and salty with sweat. I stopped at the outflow stream below the lake and drank up, washed my body in the cool refreshing water and sat on a log just soaking my tired feet. It’s one of my favorite things about the Sierra; long leisurely breaks in the middle of rivers.

The lake was a great scene to hike up to, and having just taken a good break, I admired the view as I ascended Island Pass. I climbed up and up above the lake, around a ridge, and finally over the mosquito infested pass. Soon after my descent I found a great camping spot above the river. I hid my tent among some rocks, where some human obsessed ants took over all of my belongings. No matter where I set something down, these large black ants would swarm any object with a fever. It was a bit off putting, especially as they opted to climb all over everything and me while I tried to eat dinner. I put up with it the best I could and quickly retired to my tent. Yosemite is happening tomorrow, and I’m over the moon. I hope to finish my book tonight and then rise to hike into one of my favorite places on Earth. This trip just keeps getting better, and I’m already afraid of it being over too soon.