Miles hiked this section: 97
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 951
We start the day with a hike up to our first pass over 10000 feet. I feel exactly where I want to be. At the pass we read everyone’s tarot and use the rare cell reception to reach out to friends.
At the pass we need to hitch 8 miles to get our next resupply at Kennedy Meadows North. After 90 minutes and a hundred cars going home from Labor Day who give us inexplicable empty helpless gestures we are still standing on the corner. We make a sign. Make a clown show. Look coupley. Look cute. Wave money in the air. Nothing. Finally I change into spandex and charge my crystal. I am about to take a break when we get someone to take pity and we ride down the mountain losing 3K elevation in the back of a pickup.
At KMN there are horses, real life Cowboys with Spurs, Ancient bartenders and pay phones. The saloon is where bartenders go to die as evidenced by several obits on the wall. Atrain and Ekho show up having hitched ahead. At the store I am given $20 by an exuberant lady in a pink tee who read “wild.” We get a ride back from a super nice couple that we met at the saloon. We cowboy camp at the pass.
The sunrise at Sonora Pass is all Beauty. We dawdle to give Twinless and Bug a chance to catch us. They hitched 30 to Bridgeport yesterday and will meet us by Dotothy Lake tonight
All day is Gorgeous ridge walkin followed by gorgeous valley walking. I find an exquisite Crystal and discover my blue mt Shasta crystal has left me. Groucho thinks it used up its power getting that hitch yesterday.
We realize we’ve collected horse shit water and the next source is in 10 miles. Major bummer
At 3:30 we celebrate 1000 miles left with skittles and whiskey. By 6pm we cross into Yosemite National Park and and swim in Dorothy Lake and sleep in a spacious horse camp site where Twinless and Bug join us.
It feels as though we wake too early. We see frost on the ground as we descend into the canyon carved by theDorothy Lake outlet Creek. We knock out 6 miles by 8 am and decide to do another 21 today to a site listed by a creek. To get there we must go up and down on repeat over 3 passes and by many beautiful lakes.
At breakfast I drink two coffee packets and proceed for 3 hours to chat the ears off bug and twinless about Americas obsession with debt.
By 5pm Groucho has found an awesome swimming spot so we skinny dip and eat more snacks. Only 5 miles to go to camp but we are tuckered out. We pass a burley tanned forest worker who reminds us of Thor. He is moving huge boulders across a canyon with a zip line and breaking them into an elevated rock way. Color me impressed.
The last two miles of the day are cruelly steep and slow. We teach Bug and Twinless some hippy yoga jams and roll into camp at dusk.
Goal today is “only” 20. Given the quality of the terrain it will still be a challenge. The Sierra range is characterized by many climbs over high mountain passes. The trail is immaculately maintained but still scattered with various sized rocks to negotiate with fancy footwork. The altitude (often over 10,000) leaves us wind blown, sunburned, cracked-lipped and breathless. Thankfully the views are epic and never ending and so far there is plenty of water for drinking and swimming.
We take a morning break at Smedberg lake. Bug has spoiled me by heating up water for my morning coffee two days in a row. We sent our stove back after Washington but with cold mornings here, we might need to get it back soon.
Our next break is at Benson Pass just 2 miles later. There, I celebrate womanhood by bleeding thru my new spandex running pants. Seven miles later we take an extended swim/lunch/dinner break at Miller Lake. I wash my pants a respectable distance from the water.
We see our first clouds in months but the temperatures are unbelievably perfect for hiking. In the 70’s. We rock out the last 9 miles quickly, as most of it is downhill.
On the one mile uphill stretch, Huck and I start high impact interval training. This means we run as fast as possible for 10 seconds uphill and then walk until our heart rates return to normal. Then repeat. It’s actually fun. We make camp by 5:30 and spend the evening reveling in the fact our bear canisters are almost empty. They were so full just 3 days ago.