Evolution Valley

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Goddard Canyon.


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Evolution Creek.

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There were only a couple places on the JMT that we had wet crossings. Most of the major rivers and creeks have good bridges across them. For some reason Evolution Creek doesn't have a bridge. If you hike the JMT earlier in the season there would be numerous wet crossings, as most of the creeks we crossed by jumping on stones or balancing on fallen logs. It wouldn't take much more water for those crossings to be wet. Late summer is a great time to hike the JMT as the creeks are lower and there are no (or very few) skeeters, and there are some wildflowers (but not nearly as many) still hanging on. In this photo you can see a woman on the right, her mom in the distant middle, and her father on the left. Oh, and you can see Jim S. too. Duh. But we were playing leapfrog with this family for a few days and we happened to hit the Evolution Creek crossing at the same time. They were from Switzerland, hence we called them Swiss Family Robinson. The daughter was very sweet and quite pretty, but hey, WE DIDN'T NOTICE, HONEST. I love their accents. Her parents didn't really speak English. A little more than halfway through the trip we lost them, but we have their e-mail so we can share photos and such. This was the second time for Ruth (the daughter) to hike the JMT. She did it last year too and loved it so much she wanted to bring her parents. Shortly after I snapped this shot, Jim tripped and fell in the creek and got washed downstream and over a massive waterfall and then down Goddard Canyon a few miles. By the time he made it back up to us, where Dave and I were happily snacking and refreshing ourselves while we waited, he realized he lost his Krispy Kreme hat through the ordeal, so he jumped back in and went cascading back down the creek until he found it. It was floating in Florence Lake, 20 miles away. But he got it. This is no lie. Really. I'm not prone to tell "stories". Honestly.

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Surfer Dave crosses Evolution Creek.  If there had been a 5-foot wall of water crashing down this creek, this would have been a dangerous crossing. As it was, it was refreshing. I didn't wanna wade across the creek, so I jumped it. I can really catch some air when I wanna. Sure, my 62 lb. pack took about 30' off my usual jump, but I still had plenty left in me to leap this sucker with just a minimal running start. I ended up overshooting the creek and getting stuck in some tree limbs about 15' off the ground. It was embarrassing, but it sure did impress the heck out of the Swiss chick.

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In the first photo, this is McClure Meadow, looking up towards the sky and the trees and the Evolution Peaks. Golden trout everywhere in the creek, rising for bugs even in the afternoon. Jim's in here somewhere, I know it. We continued on this day and climbed up into those peaks, where Evolution Lake rests in a heavenly basin.  The other photos were taken in the same area with Surfer Dave taking a well-deserved break in the fifth photo.