Miscellanea... little odds and ends that fit nowhere else:
The Art of Bolton Brown
The Cascade (left) is the Bolton Brown lithograph hanging in Syd's home that Gil admires in The Trail.
The book Crayonstone by Clinton Adams features many of Brown's works and a detailed biography of the artist and explorer: link to book
See also, The Unbendable Bolton Brown by Daniel Arnold in Stanford Magazine: stanfordmag.org
People often ask me: What's your favorite spot in the Sierra?
That would have to be Tehipite Valley which I visited while hiking the unofficial Theodore Solomons Trail in 2018. Tehipite, the site of a former Native American village, is one of the most remote valleys in the Sierra.
Descending from Granite Pass to Simpson Meadow down a trail the rangers affectionately refer to as "the bitch" (I'm not making this up), I had to ford the monstrous Middle Fork of the Kings River where the old bridge was washed away and never replaced. The was perhaps the scariest crossing of my hiking career with the river threatening to toss me down and carry me away with it, but I made it. The twelve mile route down the river involves some route finding, scrambling over deadfall, and a lot of rattlesnakes—but it was worth it!
Tehipite Valley is gorgeous, with the remnants of old blackberry vines and Tehipite Dome standing tall overhead and the music of the river rolling beside it. Muir called the dome "one of the most striking and wonderful rocks in the Sierra," but words (even Muir's) can hardly do justice to the sublime beauty of this mountain paradise.
There was plenty of bear sign around, and I probably shouldn't have camped where I did, but it was just too beautiful not to. At night, my small tent was collapsed by a large unseen visitor. Emerging naked in the dark, I lept and shouted in all directions but saw nothing. Restoring my tent, I returned to a night of disquietude. In the morning, I found large bear prints circling my tiny shelter. Then, tired from all the late night excitement, I packed up and ascended the sheer wall out of the valley with its three-thousand feet of 45-degree switchbacks. It was a climb I will never forget and probably the hardest I've done in the Sierra. All I can say is pack plenty of water, the sun hits the east-facing rock wall early!
Someday I will return to this unspoiled eden. For now it remains home to native spirits and at least one very large nocturnal bear.
I love mountain humor and one of the funniest collections I've seen is Amber Share's reimagined classic National Park posters featuring slogans from their worst Yelp reviews . . .
See this laugh out loud collection here: Amber Share Subpar Parks
(tell 'em Ethan sent you!)
And finally: What did I eat when I finished my first thru-hike of the JMT??
Here's a photo of exactly that, from that little gift-shop café at the end of the trail at Whitney Portal.