7/13: Muir Pass, Squeaky Fawn, & and the Marmot in the Chimney

(I’m currently walking from Mexico to Canada, a distance of 2,700 miles, to help raise awareness & funds to help counteract the effects of human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women & children. I first came across this issue in Mumbai, India, while doing videography for Nick Vujicic’s ministry, ‘Life Without Limbs,” in 2008. Please join with me on this journey of freedom by offering prayers, telling others, and giving financially. Any donation, big or small, will be kept confidential, and will be appreciated beyond understanding. Please, please consider donating. You will literally be helping buy the freedom and put in motion the healing of those who have been unwillingly enslaved in the chains of human trafficking. Thank you!)

Videos on YouTube: ThruHike4Freedom and also ThruHike4Freedom11

Started the day about 6 or so miles out from the top of Muir Pass. Leader had a hard time waking up, so Grizz & I took off for the pass hoping he’d pack up quickly & catch up. Another really good campsite last night! The guys slept across the trail, and I slept on the river side of the trail, right in the bend. It was loud but peaceful. All the rivers are so swollen with the melting runoff from the record snow year. Amazing to see. We had another campfire last night, and a young buck roamed through the campsite & stayed awhile, no more that 20 feet away, munching on plants. No fear. What an awesome sight! Lots of deer in the area. The day before I had been lost in thought, ambling down the trail when I heard a squeak…a blur of motion to my left…and a fawn had leot straight onto the trail and froze, just looking at me! It stayed there long enough to pull out my iPod Touch & get some video of it, and it will be posted up as soon as I can get caught up on the YouTube videos. The fawns squeak though…that just cracked me up! So adorable!

The ascent to Muir was tough. Lots if snow, and several false peaks made for a mentally & physically difficult climb. I already knew about the false peaks, so that wasn’t too hard, but the snow…it just kept coming…and coming…very tough to walk on. Hard on the ankles, and knees. Even though we were ascending at the best time of day for the best snow consistency, it was tough. We couldn’t wait to get onto a rock outcropping just to cool down; walking on the snow was a real workout. I lost count if the number if times Grizz or I would nearly slip & fall…our legs would spin madly to get traction, our hips turned one way and our arms & torso turned the other way, flailing for balance. It seemed like a combination of the Three Stooges attempting to dance like Fred Astaire, while having the whirling legs of the Road Runner. It wasn’t always pretty, and not always successful. The number of times we went down was a number greater than our liking, and our backs have been sore from the sudden, frantic twisting from the last week or so. Ice/snow walking is tough, and throw in the soaking wet shoes and socks on ice cold snow…not fun!

But the destination(s) are part of the journey, and this mornings was Muir Pass, and it made up for the work we did on the climb. The cabin is circular, made of stone, with one window and a cathedral ceiling. The fireplace has been stoned up & blocked, but that doesn’t stop the resident marmot from somehow hanging out in the chimney on top of the hut. Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the cathedral, old Harry the Marmot just chills up top and keeps a safe lookout! I have a couple pictures I’ll put in the video of the little guy!

Grizz & I were exhausted at the end if the day, and despite all the snow, the ascent, and lack of clear trail coming down the other side, as well as the Evolution Creek river crossing (COLD!!) we still made 21 miles. Awesome! A campfire, lots of food, and bed rounded out a very tiring day. 

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