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Day 56

Day 56

Distance hiked today: 20.9 miles / 33.6 km.

Another cold morning, with a snowy climb up Muir Pass at 11,970 ft. The snow was quite firm for the most part, but occasionally we'd break through and sink into it to our shins or knees. The sun is strong, and the snow melt runs down the trail and into streams and rivers everywhere. It's slow going, either carefully walking across the sun cups in the snow, or tip toeing across soggy ground, around puddles, and rock jumping across streams. The runoff runs underneath the snow in places too, creating snow bridges which we quickly run over to avoid falling through into a river or creek.

At the top of the pass is Muir Hut, constructed of rocks in 1930. You can go inside where there's a bench wrapping around the hut, and a fire place that's now been cemented in. We sat on the steps and celebrated the summit with our Fireball before descending.

We saw a pika! I always hear them squeaking in the rocks, but they're elusive and hard to see, let alone get a picture of. This one hung out for a minute on the rock, checking us out, before scurrying away.

It rained lightly for a little bit, the only rain I've had so far except for some mist on Day 2. But it was barely enough to make us put our rain jackets on, which we did more to stay warm than to stay dry.

We had to cross Evolution Creek, and this one was too wide to rock jump or find a log across. So we took off our shoes and waded across, the water not coming above our knees. But it was very cold, and made my feet ache painfully as they warmed up on the other side.

We passed huge rivers and waterfalls, and had our first sightings of mosquitoes. The desert had no bugs - until now it's been too dry or cold. But they aren't bad, yet.

Total trail mileage: 855.9 miles / 1377.1 km

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