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OK....I can't help myself....here is another picture of the Courtright Reservoir. You can see the high water mark on the rock in the middle of the photo. The water level was down some. No doubt the winter run off fills it up early in the year.
Once across the dam, it is a very short distance to the trail head. The
Dusy-Ershim trail is actually two trails that join at Black Peak. When
running it North to South, you start on the Dusy and end on the Ershim, coming
out near Kaiser Pass. The trail is rather unique in that it winds its way
between two wilderness areas, those being the Dinky Creek and John Muir
wilderness areas. The trail exists within a 600 foot wide corridor where
vehicle travel is permitted.
Just a few minutes from starting the trail, we all aired our tires down for max traction and a softer ride. As I write this, I have to chuckle a bit....Lee had loaned his deflators to someone earlier in the season and did not realize that they were now set a higher pressure. This resulted in his tires only going down to about 11 PSI rather than the 8 PSI that he normally runs on the trail. I didn't know this and during the 1st day, it didn't make sense why Lee was struggling to get over some of the obstacles that Robert and I (with smaller tires) managed without any issue. Later on, Lee realized what had happened and the problem was quickly rectified. I can tell you that those Iroks at 11 PSI don't hook up on rocks worth anything.
You are not on the trail for very long before you start seeing some of the magnificent granite domes that populate the trail. I've not been to Yosemite but Robert informed me that if I liked the views here, I would really appreciate what Yosemite had to offer.
This is one of several large granite slab that the trail
traverses. Unlike Moab, you won't see tire tracks going across the bare
rock. One of the Fresno 4x4 clubs has helped align the rocks to kind of
guide you along the path, so to speak, so that you end up coming out at the
right spot and can continue the trail as it enters the treeline.
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