Harpo’s PCT Journal: Sep 19-20

  
Day 95 -96 (Evolution Valley to Woods Creek Waterslide)

Miles hiked this section: 48

PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 800

Miles hiked so far: 1860 ish

Day 95

Again a cold morning. We start with a dimly lit jaunt along the meadow in evolution valley and shortly begin to ascend to Muir Pass – a rocky plateau around 12,000 feet. I get hungry after the first two hours up hill (and have grown addicted to the hot coffee water that Bug provides me from her propane stove) But it’s too cold to break so the leaders press on until reaching sunrise-soaked creek.  Coffee, coversation and 1000 calories rejuvenate me. 

We continue to climb and pass near several unreal lakes. Again I think this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Twinless retrieves her selfie mount and attaches it to her treking pole. We all look beautiful but the backdrop overshadows us sparkling like a bride on her wedding day. 

   
 As we gain height the sun grows intense and the chrome dome umbrella comes in handy again. Although I think mine may smell like urine being stowed too close to my “pee rag” – An unfortunate necessity for most ladies in the back country who: a) prefer not to leave tp by every tree trunk they spray; b) refuse to subject themselves to the humid misery of yoga butt chafe; c ) want to confine their pee strenches to just one rag/proximal umbrella,  than every article of clothing or their general person. 

A few miles later we find a beautiful lake and Huck laid up taking a sun bath. At the lake we can spy the stone shelter at the top of the pass and we soon leave – jovial and motivated. Tunes power me up hill to Muir pass so much so that I pass several hikers while basically dancing and leaping stone to stone. I love climbing hills. 

The top reveals the most spectacular beauty. 

   
 Then we descend for miles and miles thru crumbling rocks on rocks on rocks. Following creeks. Listening to tunes. Talking to my friends whenever I come upon them.  The day ends with a short climb up the valley canyon.  

Day 96

Two passes today. First – a long, hard, steepest-yet climb out of the canyon over Mather pass. So freaking beautiful. But the length and height stymies my energy and our morning break is sadly ignored by the ambitious Huck and Groucho who decide they don’t want to stop before the pass – without telling the rest of us. I feel fragile wondering if they are mad- and then I am mad because I am so cold and hungry. Bug and I rebel from the group and have a quick break alone and the warm coffee and oats cheer me tremendously. I am a new human. And a super hero about to embark on an epic quest listening to the Lord of the rings soundtrack the last 2 miles. Dancing again… Arriving at the top all smiles. 

  

   Then long sunny descent – talking first to Twinless about maintaining home connections and friendships while on trail. Then with bug about non violent communication theory and practice. 

We take a long lunch – then walk up hills on hills with Thomas- a  handsome back woods fire fighter. As the afternoon crests we summon power for a breathless ascent to over 12000 at Pinchot. I’m feeling the dizzying effects of altitude and need for more snacks with all this climbing. 
Just seven miles all down to camp. I enjoy a connected convo with Groucho on way down but calves and knees are burning with all this stair climbing!

Ok. So that’s the journal version of this section… But the real deal is that everything I see everyday is so spectacular that I cannot possibly absorb all of it. I look thru pictures in my phone that are effortlessly phenomenal and wonder if I took them. I can barely remember. There are not enough hours in the day to appreciate this landscape enough. 

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