The downhill hike to Devils Postpile, the ranger station and shuttle stop was easy and uneventful. The were significant areas with fallen trees, and plenty of work had made the trail passable.
Once we reached the area of the postpiles, we had entered the land of day trippers with clean hair and fresh laundry. I’m sure that we looked and smelled…well, bad. We dropped our packs at the path junction and hiked up to the top of the postpiles. Ver-ry cool – they look like pavers.
Down below, it’s amazing to see how the lava channeled and formed in the natural order of a hexagon pattern.
We hike back to the junction, grab our packs and hike to the ranger station/shuttle stop. We don’t even have time to drink our freshly mixed Wyler’s – two (!) shuttle buses show up within 5 minutes of our arrival at the stop. We hop on.
At the last stop, a group of backpacking scouts crowd onto the shuttle. We listen to one of the boys brag about his 60-pound pack. I hope that he is exaggerating – it would be irresponsible, and frankly stupid, for the leader to allow this. While not everyone can afford ultralight gear, a “regular” pack and gear can be perfectly adequate weighing in at 40 pounds.
Relieved to be off of the crowded shuttle, we stopped for a beer at the “chalet” at Mammoth Mountain. But, there were just too many tourists for us after our relatively solitary days in the high country. We loaded up and headed for motel room waiting for us in June Lake.