Up, up, and more up — the pack gets heavier every year. One grandson (13) carried a pack as heavy as mine but went up the steep trails far faster than I could. Well, I was there to admire the views, and take some photos, so no wonder I was so slow. 🙂
Actually all four grandkids were faster hikers than I was. They had lots of time at rest stops to run around and climb rocks. We’re half way to the first campsite, Middle Velma Lake in the Desolation Wilderness — 7 miles uphill and a 2000 (more or less) foot climb.
There was still mostly forest at the elevation of our first campsite, but the trees thinned out as we kept climbing.
The next day, the granite slopes of the higher mountains came into view as we climbed
Looking back at the lakes we camped at the previous night, and Lake Tahoe in the far distance. A nice little waterfall along the trail was a welcome stop for replenishing our water.
Fireweed was still blooming at high elevation.
Mountain Heather was also fully in bloom. I think this is a close relative of the heather plants we saw in Scotland last spring.
Bright orange to red Indian Paintbrush was blooming in some of the still wet meadows or wet seeps from recent snow melt.
The berries of Mountain Ash were turning a bright orangey-red.
Intensely blue Sierra Gentian flowers made a striking contrast to the red berries of the Mountain Ash growing right next to it. We only saw them in the late melting, wet meadows.
And another nice campsite for the second night — poised just below the pass we would have to climb over the next morning.