Day 30 – Pacific Crest Trail (29 miles)
I woke up earlier than usual, with the sun yet to show itself. I had to finish the longest dry section of the trail at 28 miles through a Mars(ish) environment of deep sand and no shade.
Early on I decided that I felt great and thought I would see how fast I could get to the spring.
Last time I went through this section in my 2015 thru hike it was a massive 45 mile waterless section. Let’s say I was substantially short on water.
A sandy climb felt a lot easier this time. I remember starting to sweat on the incline and desperately thinking I should look for shade to hide from the midday sun. I found a cave and 4 of us squashed in there for the afternoon. This time I felt the opposite and was keen to press on.
Just after morning tea, I climbed up the only real climb of the day. At the top, I was greeted with my first view of the Sierra that I would reach in a couple of days. Even at this distance, the snow was obvious. Getting through them should be fun. I cannot wait!
Arriving at the spring I was surprised that I completed the 22 remaining miles by 1pm.
I sat down for lunch, listening to a large group of 7 hikers discussing the upcoming snow. Apparently, someone turned back recently saying a river crossing was impassable.
They all decided to quit the trail due to this report and were explaining what they all would do instead. 2 would hike the Appalachian Trail southbound, a few others were biking home.
I don’t understand. Rivers change daily and everyone’s perception is different. The river in question is near the end of the Sierra and another 2 weeks away. I will not walk 800 miles just to give up on another person’s verdict that is so far ahead. If I cannot get through when I get there I will turn back, wait a few days and then try again. I will get through eventually.
Almost three hours after I arrived Andrew and Wolf showed up. They had a break for an hour or so and then we all pressed on to Walker Pass.
Arriving at the pass campground just on dusk I was ready for bed. However, we were greeted with trail magic! 3 times in 2 days! And there was fruit.
What a great way to finish the day.