Crossing the Sierra Range by Back Pack
by Ryan Thomson
After my first year in New Hampshire I traveled back to California
to cross the Sierra mountains west to east by backpack with
some old friends. 10 of us carried all supplies for a 10 day trek.
My pack weighed about 50 pounds. I considered bringing my
fiddle but choose my grandfathers old mandolin and a
pennywhistle because of their lightness. I put it in a cloth sack
and attached it to the outside of my pack. One night, while camping in an isolated
mountain pass over 11,000 feet high, we had an impromptu contra dance.
The picture in the boat was taken on the day we hiked back down out of the mountains
and took a well deserved rest on a boat ride back to where our cars were parked. As usual,
as the other hikers were gazing serenely at the beautiful scenery, I felt the urge to make
music. Earlier in the trip I played an Irish tune on my pennywhistle while standing on a
huge sequoia log.
This article written by Ryan Thomson 1999