Day 69: Mammoth to Red’s to mile 926.1
6.23.18. 19.4 miles.
I woke up super tired this morning since I didn’t sleep super well in the early morning hours. I kept tossing & turning and wasn’t comfortable with the temp in my room, even getting up to change it cooler. I packed all of my things up, and met Hot Mess & Butters at breakfast at 7 am. We loaded up on the yummy food and then left at 8 to grab our packs, check out, and get the trolley to the village. We didn’t have to wait long, and soon we were on our way. Once at the village, we saw that the Red’s Meadow shuttle was already waiting there, which was awesome bc we didn’t have to take the middle shuttle & didn’t have to wait at all! Reds is one of the last stops on the shuttle, so we watched all the tourists get off at their other stops, while I braided my hair, finished blog posts, and closed my eyes to “nap”.
We got to Red’s earlier than expected, 9 am, and started hiking back to the PCT almost immediately. We saw a few hikers we recognized that just got to reds and were going into mammoth. I felt super sluggish almost immediately. It was like my body forgot how to hike. My pack didn’t feel too heavy thanks to getting rid of the ice axe, microspikes, and a few other small things, but I just felt loopy and sleepy while walking. The trail also sucked. So so sandy and sinking-gravelly. Somehow we hiked nearly 6 miles in our first two hours though, so idk. We had a pretty gradual at first incline, which would basically last all day until we got to camp. Again, I felt like I was dragging so hard. It was so hot out and we were pretty exposed. We had some really nice views of the Minarets while hiking though. We also opted to take the official PCT during this section. Some hikers take the JMT alternate (the trails interestingly diverge for a 15 mile stretch. Not sure why.), but we wanted to do the PCT, my thinking is that eventually I’ll do the whole JMT another time, so I’ll eventually hike that portion.
We took a lunch break about 9.5 miles into our day, and I had service in the spot (and pretty much the whole day until after thousand island lake). Hot Mess’s stomach wasn’t feeling too hot so he just napped while Butters & I ate. We ended up taking a decent break. Almost 2 hours. We still had to finish the climb, and I was taking forever. We mainly walked separately until we got to thousand island lake and were taking pictures.
After the beautiful lake, we still had climbing to do to Island Pass (barely a pass) and then it was all downhill to our campsite, and thankfully all the water crossings were rock-hop able/ had a log today! The bad: mosquitos everywhere. I hope this won’t be a theme. I know there are mosquitos, but we were swarmed while getting water, and at camp they were absolutely horrendous. It was terrible cooking & eating outside my tent while being attacked by the flying piranhas. I wish I could take a picture to show you how many of them are swarming outside of my tent right now, but I can’t capture it. There are so many though. At least I am nice and safe in my tent tonight.
I am really looking forward to getting over Donohue pass tomorrow and getting to Yosemite! Such a great accomplishment, I am so excited!