Day 3 – Thousand Island Lake to North of Donahue Pass

Miles: 7.2

Our alarm clock this morning was a 15 minute howling from distant coyotes.

The girls were up early as Laurie wanted to get a time lapse of the sunrise.

They stayed dry in their tent last night even though it was very humid.

As for me, I did not sleep as well. I cowboy camped on a rock and woke up every few hours with water dripping into my sleeping bag.

We had another lazy morning.

As we ate breakfast, I dried my sleeping bag and pad. At 9:15 we set off down the trail.

But we didn’t hike long as Laurie wanted to take a soak. On trips like these (low mileage days) we take opportunities to soak and lounge. Why not?

By 10:30am, we were hiking up toward Island Pass. The views of Thousand Island Lake were spectacular from the switchbacks.

As we climbed, we knew it would be a warm day. The first half of canyon between Island Pass and Donahue Pass is really pretty. Lush plants and trees, and active rivers. The second half of the canyon is exposed, dry and hot.

I decided to hike faster and try to get to Donahue Pass before 2:45pm. The heat, endless steps and views behind me made for slow going.

I arrived at the Pass at exactly 2:49pm. Didi mention it was hot?

Around 3:10 the girls arrived looking worn from the heat and the never-ending climb. I know Laurie can handle long climbes – after all, her nickname (one of many) is The Grinder. But I am so proud and happy that Erin made it too. Go Erin!!

After an hour break at the Pass eatin and chattin with other hikers, we packed up, laced up our shoes and headed down the trail. The view of Lyell Canyon from Donahue Pass is spectacular.

As we slowly descended, we talked about how far to go and where to camp. We decided to call it a day when we reached a beautiful flat section of trail still exposed and out of the trees, only a mile from the pass.

We set up our tents, one tent actually – I chose to cowboy camp again – stretched and ate dinner.

The temperature dropped soon after the sun sank below the mountains. Looks like it will be another cold night. But I was prepared. I set up my sleeping bag to prevent a crosswind. And I wore my down jacket on top of my silk and midweight wool long johns.

Another lovely but difficult day of hiking in The Range Of Light. Time to spot a few shooting stars and drift off.

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