Jacob had to head home on Monday morning so I got an early start back on the trail on June 1. It was pretty flat leaving Tuolumne and I made good time. It was such easy going I ended up hiking 26 miles that day, including going over a 10,000′ pass.
I found a beautiful campsite next to a lake and enjoyed the solitude after a crowded weekend in the valley.
The next day I came upon Freedom Train, another thru hiker I have met several times. We hiked together for the next few days and he caught me up on the trail gossip and who was ahead of us and who was behind. After hiking by myself for so long, it was nice to have some company again.
There were so many river fords that getting your feet wet was unavoidable, but it was warm enough to wear shorts and our shoes dried quickly so it wasn’t so bad.
We also went through some gorgeous meadows that were like bogs. I have never experienced worse mosquitoes!! They were swarming around us and I spent more energy swatting them than hiking. It was awful for some time.
Away from the standing water, it was nice and easy going.
And on my two month anniversary of being on the trail, I passed the 1000 mile mark!!
It felt so great to know I had come so far. And then I realized that I still have 1,650 miles to go! I’m not even half way. I really need to pick up the pace, otherwise I’ll be on the trail until September.
On Thursday morning, with just 12 miles to go to Sonora pass, Freedom Train and I met another thru hiker named Seven (he has climbed all seven summits). Seven is also from Berkeley and we chatted a lot about the bay area while hiking. We climbed a series of switchbacks then hiked along a ridge going ever higher, until we were at nearly 11,000′. There the trail was covered and we spent some time route finding and picking our way along slowly.
Then suddenly we dropped down to the highway and were there. We got a ride in to Kennedy Meadows resort and arrived just before it started to rain. What good timing.
A south bound PCT hiker was there and he updated us on who was ahead and where. I had just missed Merkel and her mom who left that morning, but I’m sure I’ll catch up eventually.
I stayed the night in the dorm room as did Seven, but Freedom Train got back on the trail in the rain. Since it’s likely to thunderstorm every afternoon until Tuesday I’m sure I’ll get wet at some point, but if I can stay dry while waiting to meet Jacob, I will!
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