Dome Land Wilderness, Sequoia NF, 2014
After many years some of my favorite backpacking friends moved back to California and, for backpackers in California, a three day weekend is a golden ticket to amazing times. Memorial Day, however, always poses unique challenges. Backpacking is an interesting pasttime...it is both a chance to revel in solitude and connect with the power of the land but also is great when it is shared...but not shared too much. Above around ten people seems to wreck that whole solitude angle, so Memorial Day is both a godsend and a curse. Having not secured Kings Canyon permits in time, it was back to the books for me which brought me back to exploring Dome Land.
The Domeland Wilderness is truely an amazing place. While ten years ago I had visited the north, this time I found an interesting road looking at a forest service map and proposed going to an entry point in the south. My crazy friends indulged me and with over 16 miles of some really poor dirt roads (and outrunning them uphill by a longshot with extreme off-road Camaro skills) to a remote trailhead in the southern Sierras.
And we were greeted by a gorgeous granite valley. Beautiful domes and shell-stacked granite on one side, some small vertical faces on the other, nearly a thousand feet above the flowing Kern...it was a little minature Yosemite, as one of my backpacking friends called it, and we had it all to ourselves. We had a gorgeous basecamp on a granite outcrop next to the Kern, an upstairs for the tents, and a downstairs for the kitchen and dining room even. And were there fish, large nearly foot long fish literally just jumping out of the water. Without a fishing pole, they were safe, at least for the time being.
We spent two lovely days down in the valley, enjoying the cooling waters and soothing sounds of the Kern, hiking up and down, around and across, seeing as the wonderful wildflowers, trees and rocks changed around us. We even saw a few bears to cap off an iconic Sierra adventure. And the sunrise, sunset, twilight and gloaming off of the rocks; it is no concidence this is the Range of Light.
Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 lens.
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