6/28 Free Pass / Pass-free

by sedona maniak

Once I discovered that I was just sick with a cold, my worries about suffering potential altitude sickness and weird allergies were put to rest.  Now I could focus on expectoration and not getting walking pneumonia.  Luckily, there was no real pass to worry about.  Just a setup for Selden, the next on the list.  I chugged through the day in a daze, coughing more often, head throbbing.  Mid day, we reached the famously difficult Evolution Creek crossing.  The water was low enough for me to race one of the Canadians to the other side.  We all sat eating lunch on the opposite bank when a long-haired, fairly spaced-out looking JMT hiker attempted to cross barefoot.  He had no stick or pole for balance and carried his shoes in his right hand.  Of course, he lost his balance, soaking his shoes, stumbling into the trees nearby.  Ultralight hikers make me laugh sometimes.  Not even a pair of damned crocs or sandals to cross rivers?  And if not, why not suck it up and wear your damned shoes across the river?  Increase your odds with a branch?

A long river canyon led us to the Paiute Creek bridge, where we camped just past Terence and Philip. We planned to get part way up steep Selden, but discovered that we only had a mile or so in us after the bridge.