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  • Thursday, September 6, 2012

    John Muir Trail: Dawn and Dusk

    Thousand Island Lake
    I think my assumptions were correct, this may be the most stunning trail in America. And I still have nearly two hundred miles to go.

    The real beauty of the Yosemite Valley is at dawn or dusk, when the low light brings out the texture and shadow on the granite cliffs. Some look like giant mounds of clay that a sculptor just begun thumbing into shape. Others jut into the sky like cathedral spires covered in a thick layer of stucco. Some make the horizon jagged like the lower jaw of a crocodile skull.

    Above that jagged horizon, and below the warm colors of dawn and dusk, is a layer of blue sky, like a sunset turned upside down. And for a few minutes twice a day, when the sun is just below the horizon, the gray granite is bathed in a purplish light.

    This trail is over 200 miles long, but even after hiking 3000 miles since late June of last year, I wish it were longer. I'm still not tired of trail life. Somedays it would be nice to live in a climate-controlled house, but it's no match for waking to these sunrises each morning with the birds chirping, and seeing these sunsets every night before bed.