Had to deal with a little bit of snow today but the trail wasn’t bad. There were some muddy parts but it didn’t last long. Didn’t expect to hit 35 but inflate I did.
Only about 15.8 miles plus a 1.5 mile road walk to Sierra City. I plan on staying there for most of the day. I hear their general store has some nice burgers. I’m going to eat and drink so much there. I’m also picking up new shoes, been wearing the same pair since Mojave now. Time to retire them.
Got moving by six and just did a little over 15 to a road crossing by 11. They had toilets there but it was locked, bummer. Took a break there for about forty minutes and talked to some other hikers.
From there I did about 13 to the base of a mountain, got there around 4. Had to deal with some snow but it wasn’t too bad, nothing like the Sierra Nevada. Took about an hour break before heading up. The climb wasn’t too bad. Met an ultra marathoner at the top who was doing some training. From there it was 4.5 to a campsite.
Pretty normal day of hiking which was nice. It went by real quick, around 3:30 I thought it was still noon for some reason.
Slept like a rock last night but I didn’t get much sleep. Stayed up until 1:30AM using the wifi. There’s pretty much zero service in the Sierra so my eyes were glued to my phone once I got to town.
Sonic and I went to a nice diner down the road, had some coffee for the first time on the PCT. After that we went back to the hostel and grabbed our Sierra gear to mail home. All the post offices were far away but I spotted a FedEX across from the diner so we went there. Cost me about $45 to send home my ice axe and spikes, sucks living far away. My pack is now 1.80lbs lighter!
After that we went to the Sports Ltd store where Sonic bought some Altra Lone Peaks, switching from the Brooks. A guy working there mentioned we could take advantage of the Darn Tough lifetime warranty and get new socks for free. My eyes lit up. I had just gotten holes in some of my socks and thought I was going to have to wait until after the trail to exchange. On our way out of town we went back and I got two new pairs of Darn Tough Socks. And to think I wasn’t even planning on going into South Lake Tahoe. The stop was well worth it, I like these big tourist towns.
I resupplied about four days of food to get to Sierra City which was around 100 miles away. I also bought a pint of half baked B&J ice cream and destroyed it back at the hostel. Took one last shower and left. We called a trail angel and got picked up and brought back to the trail.
About a mile into the trail we hit Echo Chalet, they had a very limited resupply so I’m glad I didn’t go there. They also had ice cream so of course I had some of that. From there we did about 18 miles. I believe we did the final big pass of the Sierra Nevada. It wasn’t too difficult after all the other ones. Stopped hiking around 8:20. It’s 9:20 right now so I guess I should try and get some sleep.
Slept well again last night. Started moving at 6 and got to Carson Pass at 10. There was a visitors center there and they had lots of trail magic there. Doughnuts, soda, fruit, chips, etc. Stayed until 11 and started moving again.
I had service at some point and realized Echo Chalet closed at 5 so Sonic and I started moving a little faster. We later decide to go to South Lake Tahoe instead. So we stopped at Highway 50 around 4PM and hitched a ride into town. The guy that gave us a lift happened to own a ice cream shop on the lake so he took us there and gave us free ice cream, best hitch so far.
He dropped us off at the Mellow Mountain Hostel where it was only $25 to stay the night, great deal for an expensive town. We quickly showered and headed straight to the casino buffet. The casino was actually in Nevada, the hostel was .3 miles from it in California.
I ate so much food at the buffet. Chinese, sushi, salad, pasta and dessert. I felt like I was going to puke. Went back to the room and chilled out for the rest of the night. I always stay up late when I’m in town, it’s just natural for me. It also helps that the wifi here is strong.
Slept well last night. Caught up with Sonic within the first ten minutes of the day, guess she wasn’t that far ahead. We had to navigate around snow for the first few hours and then the trail got much better. At 12:30 we ran into our first trail magic since the desert. A man named Brian had lawn chairs out and gave us homemade cake, sodas and fruit. I wasn’t planning on breaking for long but I ended up staying there for almost 90 minutes.
Got moving a little before 2 and started crushing out the miles. Felt great to hike at a normal pace again. At about 5:30 the mosquitos started to come out and it was terrible for the rest of the day. They didn’t bother me too much but as soon as I slowed down or stopped there would be clouds of them all around me, it was nuts. I crossed a little creek and saw cans floating in there, then I realized they were full. I took an Orange Crush out of there and booked it because the mosquitos were getting me.
Sonic and I are camping on an open ridge so there are a few less mosquitos to deal with. It’s only about 26 miles to Echo Lake tomorrow. I’m thinking about staying the night there so I can send home my Sierra gear.
Got moving a little after six. Today was much easier than yesterday. It only got difficult going up and down towards Sonora Pass. Lots of snow fields on steep slopes.
Did the 26.5 to Sonora Pass by 4:15, it took until 8PM yesterday to do 27 by comparison. As I waited for Sonic to arrive I watched other hikers try to hitch with no success. I don’t know why they were standing right at the pass because it’s a complete blind spot for vehicles, almost a hairpin turn. When Sonic got there we started walking down the road and within three minutes got a hitch to North KM. The road we were driving on was crazy, sharp turns everywhere with no rails. Some sports cars passed up going around corners on double yellow lines, idiots.
Got to KM and quickly got the thru hiker package. $35.00 for a bunkhouse and shower/laundry, not a bad deal. From there we went to the restaurant next door. I had an 8oz steak, soup, salad, potato, sprouts, bread and desert. I was still starving. Went to the store (which was well stocked) and ate a pint of ice cream along with a 24oz Gatorade. I was still starving. Went back and bought two bags of potato chips and ate them immediately. I was still starving and went back again for more ice cream, a soda and a giant slim Jim.
It’s 9:15 right now and I’m waiting for laundry to get done.
Today was my crappiest day on the trail so far. Started moving at 6 up to Benson Pass. Ended up going on the wrong side of the pass and was about 750ft off trail on top of a mountain. It took me about 40 minutes to walk, climb and jump my way back onto trail. From there the trail was still covered in snow going uphill, got lost a few more times trying to find it. Lost count of how many times I busted my ass today, I’m actually shocked I’m not injured.
Had to do a ton of fords today. Most were about knee deep but one of them almost got me. I couldn’t tell how deep the other side was from where I was standing, started off easy but it just got deeper and deeper. Then the current picked up and lifted me off my feet and carried my down stream, I was chest deep at this point. I managed to grab onto some branches to stop myself. If I didn’t have my poles looped around my wrist I would have lost them. When I got on dry land I was soaked, the current also took the snacks right out of my hip belt pocket, now I had no food for the rest of the day. Thank god I always keep my other pocket half zipped because my phone is in there. If I lost my phone that would pretty much ruin my hike.
It took Sonic and I the entire day to do 27 hard miles, which was my goal for the day. Since I lost my food from the ford I starved myself from 4PM to 8:30PM. I ate both the dinners I had left which was two ramen noodles along with tuna and some pepperoni Sonic gave me.
Tomorrow we’re going to North Kennedy Meadows where we definitely plan on staying the night along with showering and laundry. We also get to ship away the bear canister.
Slept in until 7:30, felt pretty good. Went down to the store and waited for them to open at 9. Ate at the little diner attached to it. Should have saved the money, the breakfast sandwich I ordered was the size of a baseball and looked like crap.
The store there was very well stocked, much better than Reds Meadow, did a good resupply out if there and also pigged out on ice cream and chips.
Sonic and I got moving at 11:15. We were going real slow, it’s hard to get going after a resupply stop. We did about 20 miles to the bottom of Benson Pass, got in at about 7:45. The fords we did were actually challenging today, they were only thigh to waist deep but moving very fast.
Man, the mosquitos at this camp dpi are horrendous. Had to walk around in circles to eat, most of my upper body and even my head are covered in little lumps from all the bites. There’s probably a hundred of then trying to get into my tent right now. I flicked one and it exploded with blood, probably not even mine.
I have also noticed some holes getting to form on my Darn Tough socks, this didn’t happen on the AT but I’m using thinner ones. I’ll have to take them up on their lifetime warranty, but that will have to be at the end of the hike. Looks like I might have to spend some money on new ones pretty soon.
Got moving around 6. I couldn’t sleep last night and checked to see if I had service, turns out I did. Found out the Cavs won the NBA title, wish I could have seen it. Thinking back, I should have taken the bus into Mammoth and spent the night there, I heard its one of the best trail towns, oh well.
It was a long slow 10 mile climb up to start the day. Went by a campground that had toilets so of course I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. Went over Island Pass which was the easiest pass so far. Took a long break at noon since I had 16 miles done and another pass coming up. Ate a ton of extra food I had which felt great and also lightened my bag. Started moving at 1 and went over Donohue Pass which was covered in snow like the other passes.
Sonic and I were originally going to camp 6 miles from Tuolumne Meadows but we decided to get there tonight instead. It was a long flat stretch to TM so it was easy hiking. Got there around 7:15 but took a wrong turn and ended up at the lodge instead of the store and campground. Eventually made my way over there and set up camp. A ton of people here, seems like everyone is getting drunk, probably not going to get much sleep but I’m kind of used to that by now.
The camp store doesn’t open until 9AM so I plan on sleeping in until 8.