Pacific Crest Trail – Day 56 (34 miles)
After feeling awful yesterday, I woke up at 5 am, rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke up an hour later and felt fantastic.
I had another mouse encounter last night. Two days in a row? This one only bothered me once and then gave up.
I hit the trail. The first section was a roller coaster; up a small hill and down the next. This lasted for a couple of hours and provided close up views of some excellent rock features.
The trail is starting to clear of snow, with over 90% “dry” trail now. There seem to be patches on the south side in gullies or in tree cover. There probably will be snow to Sierra City in 60 miles, but I’m hoping it disappears quickly after that.
The trail then flattened out high up on a ridge and lasted almost 6 miles. It was fantastic. Panoramic views of the snow capped mountains on either side.
I started to see day hikers, with means that Donner Pass would be approaching. Getting to the edge of the ridge, it was a sharp and rocky last section to the highway.
Day hikers were everywhere. I had not seen anyone for a couple of days and started to feel overwhelmed.
I was amazed that a very old guy had made it up, while another mentioned that there was a ski resort open 0.2 mi down the road. I could do with some food!
I headed down to the resort and 5 Thru Hikers were there. Go figure, no people to so many people.
I enjoyed some fresh food, chatted to the other hikers and recharged my electronics for a couple of hours.
I then set off for another 15 miles. The first mile followed the highway, with lovely granite cliffs on both sides. The climbers were there high up on the walls. This has to be one of the nicer stretches of road.
I turned off and started to head up to a pass. Would this be the last pass for the Sierras?
It was an easy climb up, but once I got to the top the snow started. I followed footprints for a while and eventually came upon a family out for a few days. The Dad hiked over a 1000 miles of the PCT way back in 2002! He was curious how things have changed and “complimented” me on smelling like a Thru Hiker. I never knew awful was a good thing.
I dropped down into a valley and it was a bog. A mosquito infested bog! They were everywhere. I ran into a couple who were trying to give me advice from their tent, but I had to politely decline speaking to them so that I could escape this hell!
The constant snow did not make things quicker as I had to navigate. I eventually crossed a creek that was waist high and saw a bridge when I was halfway across. I like this valley!
I wanted to get a few miles further up onto the next ridge and get water from a spring near the top. Once I began climbing the water could run somewhere and the mosquitos cleared.
I arrived at the spring to find it was spewing a red tinted water. I looked at my maps and there was a creek in 3.5 miles onwards. I decided to press on and get a few extra miles in rather than drink a funky looking spring.
About half a mile before the creek I found some snow melt. I filled up and then headed 100 yards up to the ridge to eat dinner while I watched an amazing sunset.