Day 45 – Pacific Crest Trail (31 miles)
I woke up to one of my favourite sounds, running water. I quickly packed up and left camp, saying goodbye to the others as they rolled out of bed.
I started down the hill and after one steep decent was out of the snow and arrived at Red’s Medow (a general store). I had signal I downloaded the latest water report and quickly saw that it was not updated with the information I sent about getting past Bear Creek. He wanted more information, which I provided.
I pressed on. I took the Devil’s Postpile alternative to see one of the country’s National Monuments. There were downed trees everywhere. Over one, around another and under the next. It was a game! Although a slow one.
After the Monument, I decided to take the road that paralleled the trail for the 2 miles back onto the PCT.
The trail then started climbing up a ridge. It was easy going with gorgeous views of the Ritter Range on the other side of the valley.
Towards the end of the ridge snow started to appear again. It was time for a two pass afternoon.
The first was 1000 Island Pass.
I walked up the the namesake lake and took my lunch break. It is one of the best looking lakes around. It is quite unique with a lot of tiny islands poking their heads out of the water and a majestic, spired mountain as the backdrop.
After a 3pm lunch I pressed on for the second and larger pass, Donohoe.
I looked at the map and decided to straight line it the 6 miles required.
I made two mistakes this afternoon.
The first was trying to straight line it to the pass across the snow. About halfway there is ran into the stream I had to cross. However it was huge! The stream is so insignificant that it does not even have a name and I could not cross it? I ended up walking over a mile upstream to cross it safely.
The second mistake I made was loosing my bottle of deet. As I was filling up my drink bottle from a stream, I grabbed some food out of a pocket. My bottle of deet came with it and fell right into the snow shoot the water caused. Not only did I drop strong chemicals into the water system, but I lost my mosquito defense. They are going to love me!
I was pretty annoyed at what I had done. There was nothing i could do so I continued.
I was starting to get tired but my mood changed quickly as I approached the pass. Looking back I could see an afternoon storm unleashing over the snow capped mountains. It was a wonderful sight from so high up.
Arriving at the top I decided to push on rather then risk being hit with that storm in such an exposed position.
It turned into a huge milage day through the snow. I went to bed with a tired body and a huge smile on my face.
On a side note: tonight is the first time camping alone on this trail! What is more astounding is that it took 3,500 mile (this is my second time Thru Hiking the PCT) and a huge snow year to achieve this.