I must admit, I am a wildflower
lover! When I was packing for Mt. Whitney Pack Trains in the
High Sierra I was always fascinated by the incredible array of
wildflowers. It seemed as though every color and shape was either
splashed amongst the rocks or growing in the meadows. From flowers
as small as an eraser on the end of a pencil on the Owens Valley
desert floor to those which were larger than a saucer in some
of the Sierra alpine meadows, there was never a lack of wildflowers.
No matter where you looked, there was an abundance of color.
From the carpeted sandy flats of Monache and Mulkey Meadows to
the knee deep Larkspur and Shooting Stars of Crabtree and Kerrick
Meadows, there was always enough color to keep you coming back
for more. Though I love them all, perhaps my favorite is the
Sky Pilot, or Polemonium Californicum as some may call it. This
hearty little flower can only really be appreciated by those
who have made it higher than 10,000' in the Sierra, for it's
in the rocky crags in the narrow little region between 10,000'
- 13,000' that this jewel grows. I would often see the Sky Pilot
while going from Whitney Portal to Crabtree Meadows on the John
Muir Trail over the 13,777' Trail Crest Pass. This truly is the
"High Sierra" flower!