By: Tina Bowman
At 7:30 Saturday morning at the hiker parking area at Lodgepole, Sequoia National Park, Doug and I met nine participants: Joanne Andrews, Gary Bowen, Robert Cymbala, Abraham Gale, Linda Landau, Lorna Mathias, Randy Riedel, Don Sparks, and Nancy Stanko. Once the food was packed in bear barrels, we headed off up the gentle Twin Lakes trail, past the junction with the trail to the new Wuksachi lodging area, and on to the Silliman Creek drainage, where we picked up a good use trail. Unfortunately, the stream branch down from Silliman Lake was dry, so we ended up backpacking farther up the drainage than originally planned, all the way up the slabs and on to Silliman Lake. At least the weather was lovely—sunny, warm without being hot, and all around gorgeous.
We found good campsites away from the lake and off the vegetation, and soon nine of us were on our way to Mt. Silliman, getting to the top in a little over an hour. We spent a long time up there, pointing out the peaks we could see from this excellent vantage point well off the crest. Having lingered till after the moment of the autumnal equinox had passed—thanks to physics and astronomy teacher Don Sparks for knowing that—and then ambled back to camp by 5:00.
The Thai-theme dinner potluck was quite successful, with too much food. We were treated to a splendid sunset, very rich in color from clouds over the valley and alpenglow above us. The night was very mild with only a hint of breeze, enough to keep the dew off us.
Sunday morning we were up at 5:45 and off at 7:00, back down the slabs an onto the use trail. The one clump of aspens in Silliman Meadow was ablaze with color, lit up very nicely with the morning sun. Even with several generous rest stops, most of us were back to the cars by 11:00. Doug and I signed WTC cards for four partici-pants—Abraham, Lorna, Randy, and Nancy. Everyone did quite well on this trip that turned out to be a bit more difficult than planned because of the backpacking up the slabs. All handled the tough stuff with aplomb! What a great late-season trip!
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