Awesome

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“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”  Psalm 19: 1-3

We spent our final night and morning on the trail camped at Island Pass, elevation 10,255.  Usually passes are windy and cold places but since we wanted to finish the last 36 miles in two days it became the most logical place to stay for the final night.

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The Hallelujahs

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Seldon Pass View

“It’s a Hallelujah Chorus moment … you can’t help but stand in awe and reverence.”  Doris

We were coming out of Muir Trail Ranch and climbing our way up to Seldon Pass … as we passed over the top we were overwhelmed with the view of Marie Lake and valley below us.  It was a Hallelujah moment … we have seen so many beautiful places on the trail, and on the top of each pass we take in breathtaking views that blow the mind … yet, this one took both of us by surprise.  It is one of those defining moments that we will always treasure.

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Thirteen Days In

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“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike!  Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’  It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to The Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la saint terre’, ‘to The Holy Land’. And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them. “”

John Muir

A dear friend sent me that quote… I love it!

Thirteen days in, 132 miles, and our sore muscles and aching feet don’t support the notion that we have been sauntering but it sure does have a “Holy Land” feeling.  We are walking through beautiful places all day long and it’s almost become commonplace.

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Down the Up Staircase

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“It’s the Golden Staircase, or The Escalator, or Hell.”  Unknown Hiker Describing the Golden Staircase

The Golden Staircase (not to be confused with the Chilkoot Trail) is a series of tight, seemingly unending switchbacks that ascend the north side of Mather Pass … it reminded me a little of Walters Wiggles in Zion Park without the smooth surface. We hiked on “Orthopaedic trails” … our description for trails with rocks and uneven surfaces designed to keep Orthopaedic Surgeons occupied with foot, ankle, knee and leg injuries.

We were going down the Golden Staircase.

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One Step at A Time

Its a long long road to freedom

A winding steep and high

But if you walk in love 

With the wind on your wing

And cover the earth

 the songs you sing

The miles fly by

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The Path to Forester Pass – Elevation 13,200

As we began day four our heads were clearer, our pace was stronger, and our confidence returned.

Over the next 2 days we emerged from high elevations to even higher elevations.  Kinda reminds me of the old joke.  How do elephants get into trees?  They jump out of higher ones.

The vistas became panoramas … hope the few pictures give a glimpse of the awesomeness.