Beginning Elevation = 7,850
Ending Elevation = 8,300
Elevation Range = 7,850 – 9,350
Weather:. Sunny and clear, high 55°F, low 15°F
Things move more slowly when cold… honey and molasses of course, molecules of air (if my memory of highschool chemistry is accurate), and Stevie Wonders. Indeed, as expected, it was as Avril Lavigne sings, another “damn cold night,” and I was happy to stay inside my sleeping bag. My layering up of clothes did the trick though. I slept much better than the night before actually.
I opted to repeat the breakfast in bed technique rather than go fo my usual routine of hiking a few miles first. It just made sense… I got to stay warm longer and the sun then had more time to warm things up outside once I got going. Actually, I was pretty motivated after getting some coffee in me. After a nights sleep processing the events of yesterday, I came to the idea that if I’m going to go for this, I’d better give it my best shot.
And thus, I hit the trail at 7:50am in my new cold weather hiking attire complete with my new specially made hiker pants that are said by some folks to be the most aerodynamic hiker pants ever sewn.
When I reached the trail (my tent was a tad ways off), I saw a hiker standing there who must have seen me coming and was waiting to chat. “Froggy” was in a similar situation with me trying to finish the trail up, but said she plans to stop at Sonora Pass, another 50 miles or so, because of the cold temperatures. It turns out she was the one yesterday who was making the Altra footprints that I’d been following. It was nice to see someone else out here! I thought, and was hoping, that I’d see her hiking throughout the day, but she ended up taking a breakfast break early on and I didn’t see her the rest of the day.
The morning stretch went up, but gradually.
Here’s a tree growing in a rock…you see that out here.
And the sun was out doing work! Around 9:30am, I took a break at a nice vista and switched my whole outfit, switching back into my usual tan pants and blue shirt.
Up and up I went, switchbacking along. Saw a group of 5 deer hanging out on this mountainside. They might be in the photo below, but they trotted away from me quickly…
I also pretended to be a fancy photographer capturing some of the icy streams. Cheer had given me the second trail name of “Crouching Tiger” in the last stretch due to my characteristic ninja photographer methods of crouching down to get the good shot…
It was very beautiful throughout and thus, maybe I was distracted or something, because I took a wrong turn heading up to Rammond Lake rather than continue along the PCT.
Luckily, I realized pretty quickly and rerouted, returning back to the junction and correcting my mistake. And then I got to go down. Hooray…
I got some cell service around here and called Kennedy Meadows Resort just to make sure they were still open and such. All set!
It was starting to look different as I descended, drier maybe? And more sparse and barren looking?
I ate lunch in this wonderfully goofy spot…
After leaving that strange setting, I climbed up to this beautiful scene…
I believe this was the valley where I came across a hunter who said he treks back in here since it’s all public land. He also told me that hunting season started a couple of days ago.
I loved this section. I mean, just check this out…
I don’t recall the name of that bad boy, possibly Ebbetts Peak (?), but it had a tall U.S flag on the top. Can you spot it?
Here’s some more pretty scenes towards the end of the day…
I was hoping the name of this wilderness area wasn’t indicative of the type of climate I might expect…
I hiked in a bit late today getting in just as it was getting dark, and just prior to reaching camp came across a few more deer…
Twas a long day, and I was beat.
Otis Redding – The Very Best of Otis Redding
Jim Valvano 1993 ESPY Speech
DJ Sammy – Heaven
Finished Hyperion Book 1 – by Dan Simmons