Day 34 – Pacific Crest Trail (29 miles)
Wolf woke up before me for the first time this trip. There was a cold wind and I did not sleep well last night, but I got up relatively quickly.
We started at 6,500ft (2,000m) elevation and would be climbing over 10,000ft (3000m) before we finished. It would be a bit of an explorative day; we did not even know at what elevation the snow would start.
I set off to catch Wolf.
I took a while to wake up, but eventually I felt great and glided along the trail. The climb was slow and steady as this trail tends to be.
We made great time climbing. As we progressed and the elevation increased, the desert slowly sliped behind. Pine replaced shrubs. It was a beautiful transformation.
At 11:30 we stopped for lunch by a stream. We had already walked 18 mile today (a personal best for Wolf). We ended up having a long break here. Wolf slept and I started talking to 3 blokes who wanted to finish at a similar time to me of mid to late August.
One of the guys, Whistler, is attempting to YoYo the trail. To complete it he will walk the 2650 miles to Canada, turn around and walk back to Mexico. Very ambitious but let’s hope he makes it.
I walked with them to the top of the climb. As we approached the top, patches of snow appeared. This was a pleasing sight. It would mean that we might not have to camp on snow much or at all. It also means there will be dry trail along the route and our progress over the next 300 miles might be better than expected.
At the pass the Sierra opened up in its glory. Meadows, snow, pines, flowing water and huge granite spires lay in the valley before us. The view after 700 miles of desert is beyond description. I found a dry rock away from the snow and had a short vista break.
People often ask why I hiked. This is one of the many reasons.
We then headed down into the gorgeous valley. The patchy snow was well consolidated, but made following the trail slightly difficult. However, it did not last long and soon enough we were heading down without a problem.
I eat dinner watching the sun hide behind the large, snow covered hills ahead of us and the full moon appear from were we came.