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Evolution Valley Tour - Day Five
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This rest day would not be spent doing nothing! With Larry and I both ready and able to fish, we all decided to day-hike to Evolution Lake and soak some flies. Julie would join us as a tourist, using her skill to cook whatever we brought back. We regained the Muir Trail with day-packs on and worked our way out of the valley. At the last switchback I reached a symbolic junction, where my northern and southern Muir Trail adventures were finally joined.

It was great to see Evolution Lake again, but the wind was such that we felt we would have better luck by heading for the peninsula in the middle. We worked our way through abundant wildflowers to the peninsula, passing four younger folks who were on a month-long visit to the high country. We caught the attention of several fish as we worked our way around, but none fell for our clever lines. We had been advised to use green-bodied flies for best results, but I tired of the effort after a while and took a break by climbing to the top of the roche moutonee, the geologic feature that makes up the peninsula. The view was excellent from the top, and I panned from the summit with the video camera. The scenery now included four young skinny-dippers, but I respectfully left the camera on its wide-angle mode. The weather was much improved over the previous day, and it appeared that our trek over Lamarck Col would not be hampered by bad weather.

Returning to the shore, I selected a Renegade fly, a design that has always proven successful wherever I go. I found a deep hole at the north end of the peninsula and went to work. Not for long, though: I caught a 9-inch golden trout on my second cast, and another about ten minutes later! The third one I played with too long, and he spit out the fly and escaped. Several other fish were on in the next hour, but my luck was over. Larry succeeded in landing four fish while losing several others, and we felt that two fish apiece would make for a decent meal. Julie had left an hour or more earlier, so we worked our way back to camp late in the afternoon. Julie worked her magic, and the trout was quite tasty!

Since day six would be longer from this camp, we scurried about during the evening to prepare as many things as possible for an early start. We filled our bottles and packed up as much as we wouldn't need for breakfast. As the sky darkened, the far west went psychedelic: pale pastel clouds remained bright even as the stars came out overhead. It was an amazing display of noctilucent clouds, which I had only seen once before. These clouds form extremely high in our atmosphere and are rarely seen, especially this far south. They are distinguished not only by their appearance long before sunset or sunrise, but also by their opalescent colors. This show had pale blue, pink and even some pale yellow areas; I shot several photos using different shutter speeds to ensure that the colors would come out. they finally faded about 8:30 and I went to bed after a last visit to the warm and cheery fire.

Hike day One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Summary