John Muir Trail Day 16: Powering Up

The spectacular Marie Lake

Daily Neet Beat
Today we have a short day which will give us time to explore. We are only about 11 miles away from Muir Trail Ranch which we have reservations for tomorrow and the next night. Tonight we will camp somewhere before the Muir Trail Ranch. We plan on getting over Seldon Pass today but have plenty of time. After about an hour of hiking we come across 2 rangers from Sierra National Forest who check our permit, ask about our bear canisters, and remind us to camp at least 200 feet from water sources. We pass on the information about the coyotes possibly getting a radio-tagged deer and where. The ranger states that they will send one of their wildlife biologists out to check on what happened. He also indicated that the coyotes often use the passes we are going through to travel north and south. After talking to the ranger, we decide to do a side hike to Rose Lake which is really beautiful and peaceful. We then hike past the spectacular Marie Lake and up over Selden Pass. On the way down the other side we find large green epidote crystals along one of the many fault planes that cross-cut the mountain range that includes Mount Hooper and Mount Senger. Ray and I are definitely stronger now; 1700 feet up to the pass does not seem like so much or too hard.
We get to Sally Keyes Lake early; just after 1pm.  I decide to catch up on my blogs and Ray decides to hike around the lake. So you may be wondering what I am doing to take notes while I am on the trail. Yes, I am using electronics. It is funny, electronics and whether they should be used in the backcountry is hotly debated and some are passionate about it. Some people believe that we are out here to connect with nature and electronics should be no part of it. I personally don’t see it as that black and white. Phones/iPads are good for certain things but should never be entirely relied upon. Both Ray and I are carrying iPhones and I am carrying a mini iPad to take notes.  I am using several apps for the blog: BlogTouch Pro which allows me to type up notes offline and transfer it to WordPress, and a WordPress app which allows me to upload my blogs when I have a wi-fi connection. Ray and I also are both using iPhones for navigation apps. Ray has the National Geographic John Muir Trail app, Earthmate app with maps downloaded offline, and the JMT Guthook app. I have been mainly using the JMT Guthook app. We also have a hard copy: the waterproof John Muir Trail topographic map guide for general location information and for back up if our batteries die. I may do a blog comparing the apps or maybe just pass information on to the John Muir Trail Facebook groups. I definitely have an opinion on what works best for what as far as the navigation apps. Hopefully we will have wi-fi connection when we get to Muir Trail Ranch tomorrow so I can send out blogs for the last 9 days…

Just the Facts

From near junction of trail to Lake Italy to Sally Keyes Lake
Camp at Sally Keyes Lake, elevation 10,124 feet
Passes: Seldon, elevation 10,898 feet
Miles: 9
Total Miles: 172.1
Elevation gain and loss: 2,200 feet up and 1,204 feet down

Photos of the Day

Remains of a deer in the corridor of passes used by coyotes
Ray at Rose Lake. This was another lake that had lots of jumping fish.
Ray and I at Selden Pass
The green mineral is epidote which is formed from hydrothermal fluids along fault zones. A block on the ruler is 1 cm.


  1. Epidote! One of my favorites!! I pressure stuff if I remember correctly? Deep beautiful green.

  2. For me it is essential that paper, pen, and paw be used for chronicling the work of the unconscious. Electronics make sense for the ordinary conscious world. I believe the two worlds meet at a place like the JMT and have fully merged by Day 16, as evidenced by your blog. To me this explains the “hotness” of the debate – both are true. The richness of the debate is chronicled through your iPad, posted via your software to be read by us at our desktops. Thank you!

    1. I believe electronics only really takes away from the conscious world if we used them to escape it. I agree that it can be used to enrich as you say. Thanks.

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