The Daily Neet Beat
They are called “Zero Days” by thru hikers when you take a break and don’t add mileage to your total on a trail. Often these days are in town when you are resupplying your food or taking a break from the trail. We could call today a “Zero Day” as Ray and I are taking a break from the straight John Muir Trail and are doing a side hike. I have come up with a better term, though: “Scamper Day”. This is not a “Zero Day” in the true sense of the word because we are still hiking. We are just not making mileage along our intended route. These days are fun for us – I think it is because we have the time (no urgent need to get back) and the curiosity of children. A “Scamper Day” seems like the right word when we are not carrying our heavy packs and feel light as feathers.
We headed out again around 7:30am and left our tent set up at the junction of Shadow Creek Trail and the John Muir Trail. We soon passed Ediza Lake which had gorgeous mountain views and glaciers on the flank of Banner Mountain. It is another hot day but we are climbing to 10,300 feet so hope to keep cool enough as we will be higher in elevation. This is in the Minaret Mountains which we have heard by several people as being exceptionally pretty. I really can’t argue. I don’t know if I have seen a prettier place. We climb past Iceberg Lake and head up the ridge between Iceberg and Cecile Lake. The trail peters out and it gets scrambly but we both like it when it gets a little more challenging. We finally made it to Cecile Lake and spent time hiking around it and arm-waving about the geology and flowers.
We head back to camp early afternoon and make it back to the junction where are tent is set up only to find a “ticket” on our tent. The plastic “ticket” has the National Forest Service Rules on it. Highlighted with a sharpie is that we should camp at least 200 feet away from a water source. This is really embarassing to me being an ex-Park Ranger. We had actually discussed this the night before but the regulations require being 100 feet away from water (200 feet is recommended). We were trying to balance the distance between the trail and water and decided it was OK because we were at least 100 feet from water. Oh well. We quickly took down our tent and went to another location up on a ridge. What was interesting about the ticket from the Forest Service was that it had Sponsors. So I am calling this day “A Scamper Day brought to you by Subaru”….
Just the Facts
Side hike up Shadow Creek Trail to Ediza Lake, Iceberg Lake and Cecile Lake.
Camp again at the junction of Shadow Creek Trail with JMT but moved up higher across the river., elevation it a “9063 feet
Miles: 7 miles
Total Mileage: 59.2 miles