Day 56: Selden Pass and Bear Creek

Memories from June 15

Continuing the recent theme of going slow in the Sierras, I didn’t do much in the way of miles today but those miles contained a pass and a notable stream crossing.

Selden Pass was close in both mileage and height. With relatively little snow on the south side, it was the first pass I created without microspikes.

Looking back at Sallie Keys Lake where I spent the night.


Not the most intimidating of passes.


A marmot sits and considers a passing hiker as is their way. Without a zoom lens on my camera phone it’s hard to get a good picture of them but marmots are a frequent sight up here.


From the crest of Selden Pass, looking back to the south.


And now looking north.


My trip down from Selden contained one of the longer games if Where’s the Trail? that I’ve played. Fortunately the terrain was pretty simple and I won eventually.

An example decision from playing hide and seek with the trail. No tracks (you followed them here over snow which has ended), no trail, the map says the trail is between the ridge to your right (off the right of the picture) and the stream to your left. Of course there could be a larger stream on the other side of those rocks. Do you follow the stream? Cross it and look for a larger one or diverge right from this stream. Of cours,e you could pull out a GPS but where’s the fun in that?


After a few more miles (in the trail’s pleasant company’s), I came to Bear Creek which is marked in the notes I have as being potentially dangerous to cross. It came up high on my thigh but wasn’t moving particularly quickly. After a big rain (like a few days ago), I can imagine it being waist deep and fast though.


I washed in Bear Creek since I got wet during the crossing and left my clothes out to dry. Then the sun hid behind a cloud. After eating a bunch of food I put on my mostly dry outer clothes and hiked commando and without socks so the movement would at least warm me. Even at noon, the temperature in the shade is still cool.

A short distance down the trail, I set up camp in an existing campsite by a bend in the creek, let my clothes dry, thought some deep thoughts, and in the late afternoon wasted all but four matches from a new matchbook starting a fire which kept me company until bedtime.


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