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Lake Mary to Lake Florence via the John Muir Trail, August 2003

Day 0: Santa Cruz to Oakland to Mammoth Lakes, CA

Last time my parents came up for a visit they got lost and Emily and I had to go out and find them. Given the long time we would be spending in the car today I was glad when they arrived on time. After stuffing my gear in the car and a quick bathroom break we were on the way…

The plan was simple and well thought out; my parents would drive from their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains to my abode in Oakland and then we would all drive to Mammoth Lakes via Tioga Pass. My mom had reserved a cabin near the trailhead where I would start my hike the next morning. Then after 5 days and 120 miles I would come out of the Sierras at Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park at the same time as one of my co-workers (who would represent my ride home). It seemed like the best way to experience the best of the John Muir Trail in a truncated fashion, which was fine with me since I had day hiked Mt. Whitney in October of 1999 and had been to Yosemite on numerous occasions.

Heading east through the farm lands and tract homes of the Central Valley we made good time. I drove while my mom rode in the passenger seat and my dad entertained Scoobie in the backseat. In no time we were in the park and taking a lunch break near Olmsted Point on Tioga Pass. Back on the road we headed down towards Mono Lake and the Ranger Station where I picked up my wilderness permit that I had reserved about 3 weeks earlier. Back into the car, this time heading south on 395 we zoomed before turning west to the cabin at the “Crystal Crag” resort on Lake Mary. After unpacking my mom and I went for a short hike starting at the trailhead I would begin at the following day. We brought Scoobie and let him roam off of his leash. The weather was overcast and towards the end of the hike the mosquitoes began to attack; however, it was a successful outing and beneficial in terms of accelerating acclimatization.

Scoobie, Casey and Mom (front to back) enjoy lunch near Olmsted Point on Tioga Pass.

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