There was no mail at the Devil’s Postpile, and the Ansel Adams Wilderness is in color

IMG_7335The boys are back on the John Muir Trail, to complete the approximately 150-mile portion from Mammoth Pass south to Mount Whitney. (Last week, they hiked the approximately 60-mile portion from Mammoth Pass north to Happy Isles, and I picked them up in holy-shit-is-this-place-crowded Yosemite.)

So while they’re backpacking, I’m day-hiking, but on trails that are designated “popular,” “easy to follow,” “heavily trafficked,” or any combination thereof. I’ve not been blessed with a very accurate sense of direction, so when I’m hiking solo, I do what it takes to keep myself safe and un-lost.

ranger station
Today I put in 5-6 miles, hiking from the Ranger Station (6) to Devil’s Postpile to Rainbow Falls (You Are Here) to the Lower Falls (bottom center), and back up to Red’s Meadow (10).

Since I was in the Ansel Adams Wilderness for most of my time on the trail, I took the liberty of using black & white filters on some of my photos as an homage. They’re nice, but definitely not of the same caliber as Mr. Adams’ artwork.

This is the Devil's Postpile. See? Not a letter or package in sight, just columnar basalt.
This is the Devil’s Postpile. See? Not a letter or package in sight, just columnar basalt. I will now try to inject the phrase “columnar basalt” into casual conversation at every possible opportunity.
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Columnar basalt down!

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I crossed right the heck over the JMT! Tim and Dane would have walked through here on the first day of their northbound hike last week.
I crossed right the heck over the JMT! Tim and Dane would have walked through here on the first day of their northbound hike last week.
It was a long way down...
It was a long way down…
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

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5th arrow down: MT WHITNEY. That's where I'll pick up my guys in about two weeks. Also, I find it curious that SHOWERS are designated as mandatory, but COLD BEER is not?
5th arrow down: MT WHITNEY. That’s where I’ll pick up my guys in about two weeks. Also, I find it curious that SHOWERS are designated as mandatory, but COLD BEER is not?
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Saved the best sign for last. I’d been hiking for 3 hours by the time I got to it, and I was ready for that bus ride back to the parking lot!

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