Giant Sequoias &
High Country Lakes

Day 4 - Blossom Lakes Layover Day - July 29, 2006
The next day was a layover day of sorts.  We kept our camp at Lower Blossom and
dayhiked up to the other Blossom Lakes.  I think we saw 13 of the 15 that appeared on
the map plus some other small lakes that weren't on the map.  The lakes are in a wide
glacially sculpted granite bowl and they are each more beautiful than the last.  We sat
and admired one for a while and watched juncos and hummingbirds fly around and over the
lake.  Once a hummingbird, presumably attracted to Candace's bright pink Nalgene
bottle, hovered right in front of her face for a few seconds.  She said she had never
been so close to one!  About a minute later I felt something on my hand which I had
resting on my elbow and I turned just in time to see a Junco fly off.  I guess it thought
my hand would make a great perch!

We continued hiking and got to the big upper Blossom Lake around lunchtime.  We ate
lunch and then went over to the lake to soak our feet.  Candace heard something and
turned back towards our day packs and saw a furry tail poking out of my pack!  She said,
"Hey!" and turn and ran over to the pack and out jumped a marmot.  He had gotten into
my leftover cheetos!  Brat :p  Oh, well, it was my fault.  That marmot will probably never
be the same after getting a taste of junk food, sort of like the animals in the movie,
"Over the Hedge," we joked.  We named the marmot Mr. Cheetos as he came back
several times to try to get more.

On the way back down to our campsite I saw a pika and we both enjoyed the views that
stretched all the way down the Kern Canyon to the Needles.  We also saw two fishermen
but never saw where they were camped.  Back at our campsite we saw another
backpacker who set up camp near us but never came over to say hello.  We called him the
"Silent Backpacker."  He made very little noise and ended up leaving early in the morning
so it was if he was never there.

That afternoon I went for a swim then took a nap inside my tent.  I woke up once
startled to see a lizard that had crawled up between my tent body and the fly!  That
night I made a Thanksgiving-like meal - stuffing with chicken and dried cranberries.  It
hit the spot.  It was breezy that night which was fine by me because it kept the
mosquitoes away!
One of the 15 Blossom Lakes
Yikes, not something you expect to see on your tent in the High Sierra!
The view south as we hiked above Lower Blossom
The cross-country route was steep but not too difficult
Each lake was more prettier than the last
This is the terrain we had to hike up to get to the big upper lake
Two kinds of penstemon color the mountains
Waterfalls cascade down the rocks
Hey, who got into my cheetos?
There goes the culprit now!
Hmmmm...  I wonder if I can sneak over there and get some more?
When we were headed back down we were able to see down
the Kern Canyon all the way to the Needles
Elephant Heads Pedicularis groenlandica
Labrador Tea Ledum glandulosum
This Leopard Lily Lilium pardalinum opened
up while we were camped at the lower lake
Back to Day 3
On to Day 5
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We could see the fire burning near Maggie Lakes