10.3 miles (Miles 1018.3 – 1028.6)
Sonora Pass/North Kennedy Meadows – PCT Mile 1028.6
It was a pretty typical resupply/town morning. It went kind of like this:
Breakfast of eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, sourdough toast, and coffee
Shower & shave
Refill depleted toiletries
Sew gaiter velcro
Shop for cheese and potato chips
Grilled ham and cheese on wheat with fries for lunch
Soft serve ice cream cone, twist
Bathroom with a flushy and sink
It was a pretty simple day, and everything went smoothly. Once chores were done and we hit the trail it had cooled off quite a bit, which was great because we had a climb right away. At the top of the pass we got great views, climbed down and then the trail rolled along nicely and crossed a whole bunch of streams. In fact, the trail was a stream for a little while.
We met two past PCT thru-hikers on the trail – Mountain Goat and Beam… and their sweet dog, Rose. They asked if we were thru-hikers, and I replied with a proud smile, “yup!” Mountain Goat’s response was, “Cold beer?” Whoa… wait. What? They offered us both a cold beer, which we drank as we chatted with them for a while. They wanted to do some trail magic, so they hiked it in! Beer and ice is heavy! What an awesome, totally unexpected surprise. Thank you so much, Mountain Goat and Beam (and Rose, too)!
We didn’t really think we’d hike ten miles today, but our trail decided we would. We went about an hour longer than what we planned because of the lack of campsite options. We passed on one good one with the thought that there’d be another shortly, but the trail quickly began going up really steeply. Then it switched-back a little steeper yet. We climbed and climbed as we kept our eyes open for any flat spot big enough for our tent, but the hill was at such a steep angle that we just had to keep going. We finally found a spot just big enough almost at the top of the climb. It was perfect. We made and ate dinner a little ways from the tent on a huge rock overlooking a valley as the setting sun laid golden and pinkish tints on the huge wall of rock on the other side. The clouds and sky lit up in all shades of blues, pinks, golds and oranges. Mmm, oranges… anyway… it was a really nice way to finish up the day.
Below is a fun list I thought of the other day while wearing my headnet to keep mosquitoes out of my face. Most of the things in the list are from experience. It’s somehow easy to forget you’re wearing the darn thing!
Things you can’t do while wearing a mosquito headnet:
• Pick your nose
• Drink from your hydration bladder tube
• Eat a candy bar
• Drink coffee
• Snot rocket (you could, but it would be kinda messy)
• Eat a meat stick
• Put on chapstick
• Wipe away sweat
• Eat jelly beans
• Drink Gatorade
There’s more, I’m sure. I have to laugh at myself every time I try to eat something and forget I’m wearing it. Boom! It hits the netting. Duh… It’s better than eating mosquitos, though!
Tonight I love the clouds. They’ve given us quite a lot of shows this past week. Dark and angry, white and puffy, hot-sun hiding, wet and rainy, hail-dropping, sunset pink, orange, gold… and they’re always different.