He met college kids, retired folks, sons and fathers, mothers and daughters and others while hiking. He met the author of his favorite hiking guide and asked her to sign the book.
Another day, he hiked with three teachers who had chosen jobs close to the High Sierras so they could hike.
He learned something new every day.
“I took a lot of naps,” he said. “I found the days I made a lot of mileage, I got an early start, took a nap in the middle of the day and then hiked later in the cool. The radiant heat is pretty high.”
Signs of previous forest fires were apparent in places. Beautiful undergrowth and wildflowers rose from the charred ashes of destruction and flourished. He tasted wild currant berries but didn’t care for them.
In another area, he saw trees that were uprooted from high straight-line winds from a previous year. He also saw volcanic cones. He sniffed a ponderosa pine and found its vanilla scent to be very strong.
“Sunrises and sunsets are the great photo opportunities,” Robinson said.
Elevation along the trail creates unusual challenges from cold temperatures to solid rock that make it difficult to stake a tent. Robinson wore layers trying to stay warm in the higher altitudes.
“I ended up camping at lake 12250,” he said. “That was its elevation.”
There are ranger stations along the way, and stories of the rangers of the High Sierras, including one of an experienced ranger who was lost and found dead five years later.
“Sometimes you come up on a place, and it’s just you, and you think, ‘God and I are the only two to ever see this,’ and you know intellectually it’s not true, but it feels like it is, at least at that moment,” he said.