The top hike by far, was a 9 hour sojourn thru the magnificent Gaylor/Granite lakes . We started at the Tioga pass east entrance, at around 9945 feet altitude. The initial part was a brutal (for me) slog up to the initial pass. Keeping in mind that we started at almost 10000 feet. Ugh…. Much pain.
We then descended into the valley, arriving at the middle gaylor lake. Wow! We then turned north and followed the trail to upper Gaylor; all the while with Brodie yammering on about one topic or another (when the uphill hikes get tough, we always return to politics).
After the upper lake, we then went further uphill, to a great vista, complete with an abandoned mine, which makes certainly for some great pictures.
At that point, it was not clear what to do…. The hardest thing would be to descend to a small lake and look around there, and then climb another high pass to look to see what is over the next rise. So – naturally – that is what we did (Brodie motto: “if I am down here, I want to be up there. If I am up here, I want to be down there”). Lots of elevation gain and loss. That is life. And it was great.
After that vista, we descended to the granite lakes. Upper and lower. At that point, we separated and went to different lakes. I went to upper, surrounded by a huge circ (“a bowl-shaped, steep-walled mountain basin carved byglaciation, often containing a small, round lake.”) .. In my solitude, a quick swim was in order. Um… er…. the wildlife will never be the same.
After that, it was a trip across the fields (think “Lord of the rings”), and back up and over to the car. Exhausting…. And fantastic.