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Trail Stories In The Sierra ~ Discovering New Worlds

Meeting New Explorers Of The Sierra on The Trail Can Enhance The Experience For All

Sierra Rec Magazine ~ July 2017 – Don’t we all have a story or two to tell of our first experiences in the Sierra?  So the question is are you enhancing your experience by meeting more people on the trail?  I have to admit that when I first started exploring, it was all about me and the escape from the world, that drew me back time after time.  However, in the past year, I have started to embrace the idea of meeting and enjoying the conversations with trail friends.

Backpacking Couple Desolation wilderness

Ready for an evening in Desolation Wilderness. This couple was up to the challenge of climbing to the Lakes above Horsetail Falls for a little fishing.

This past weekend was a great example of what we all could enjoy.  On a quick day trip to Horsetail Falls, I had the privilege to meet people from San Jose, Sacramento, Miami Florida, Colorado and Idaho.  Several were enjoying the Sierra with friends who brought them up for a quick day trip, others were just experiencing a new taste of the Sierra.  I was able to act as trail support for a group out of San Jose who had brought friends in from Miami to hike for the day. The couple had hiked a little in the East but nothing like the Sierra before.  The jubilation and joy you could see on their faces as they reached the base of Horsetail Falls.  With arms stretched out like Rocky, just finishing the stairs,  our new friends on the trail had conquered the short climb up to the falls and the squirrely trail that at times had to be created on the way up.
Visitor to the High Sierra

From Miami Fl to the Sierra Wilderness. Victory!

Visitors to the sierra

Friends from California brought this couple from Miami for a quick day hike. They don’t make mountains like these on the East Coast

There were also the Sierra Veterans, entering Desolation wilderness with supplies for an overnighter up top. The Sierra was not new for them, but the adventure of climbing up into Desolation wilderness from the base of Horsetail Falls was a challenge they were committed to accepting.  More than gracious to let me take a few photos f them for the magazine, fitted with their backpacks and gear including fishing poles which I assume they plan on using for dinner.
It was last fall on this same hike that I met a young man, a self-proclaimed vagabond sun bathing in the High Sierra near Pit Lake. We joined together to discover Ropi Lake and an upper Waterfall / Cascade on Pyramid Creek. As we walked on the granite rocks, he shared poetry/music he had written that was just a pure blessing to me on the trail.
I think back to my first visit to Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite and the older Backpacker I met on the trail who shared with me a hidden gem of the Cathedral Lakes hike that would become one of my favorite locations and views of the entire Sierra Region. What if I never said hi or tried to engage with the hiker coming to the other direction?  I would have more than likely missed my favorite location.

So as we continue here at Sierra Rec Magazine to encourage people to explore a new place in the Sierra. We want to start meeting more people and encourage our readers to share trail stories of the people they meet and the places they discover together with friends. Send us your favorite trail discovery about someone you met on the trail?  We realize they might not all be positive, but with our love of the Sierra on full display, hiking and exploring together could change someone’s life. Happy exploring! Take a friend or meet a new one on the trail. #sierrarec #trailfriends  Share your Friends stories on our Facebook Page at  or our Instagram feed @sierra_rec_magazine


About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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