The last 9 days of August I spent in the heart of Kings Canyon blissing out with friends, making friends with strangers, getting high on wildflowers and altitude, working a bit of trail… on my hike out I cried like the child-me leaving summer camp.

The daily snow-melt baptismal was met with much rejoicing.

Avalanche pass – first encounter with the foxtail pine, first sighting of the range beyond.

Because of this season’s longer-lived snowpack, all the flowers were blooming at once. I thought my head was going to explode every time I walked through a meadow.

The Kahweahs!

At Colby pass I met a seasoned couple who cross-country around this section of the sierras every summer. For the rest of the day we cracked jokes, swam, and traded stories. You can spend your whole life out there and still not bag all the peaks, nor swim in all the lakes.

An unnamed pass out of cloud canyon, where I spent the second half of my trip. Not pictured is the rad CCC crew I stayed and worked with… what a family!

Descending to Lion lake, around 11,000′.

My gracious host.

On my way out, I passed Valhalla and my spirit got stuck.

Mindaugis lent me some gear for this trip and is one of the reasons I keep running for the mountains.

And, to palliate the withdrawal symptoms, M+D+I went out for dim sum. THE END