Day 73: mile 998.3 to mile 1016.9 to Kennedy Meadows North Resort
6.27.18. 18.6 miles.
Thankfully since we made so many miles yesterday, we got going at our normal time today: 6:00 am. Not so lucky for us, the mosquitos were already awake and ready for the bloodbath at that time too. I had on my wind pants and head net first thing to avoid them. Which is why I look so dang cute in my 1,000 mile picture! Yep, we passed 1,000 miles today, which was super awesome. I got Vanessa Carlton’s song stuck in my head for the rest of the morning.
We had a little bit of downhill in the forest before we got to our last water source for 10 miles and needed to fill up. Then we had a pretty big climb up to the top of a ridge, which we stayed on for a decent amount of time. The views were incredible! Definitely a nice change from the lack of views the last few days. It was phenomenal.
We had lunch at the top of the ridge, not too long of a break because we wanted to make it to Sonora Pass at a decent time, and we still had some climbing to do.
What we didn’t really realize was how much snow we were going to have to walk through! It really slowed things down though, especially with not having my microspikes anymore. I greatly dislike the ridge snow traverses. I’m just super careful with my steps and so slow because of it. Obviously I’m happier that way because it’s safe, but it just adds a lot of time and it’s mentally exhausting.
We finally reached a pretty dry part and just got to walk for the first time in what felt like forever bc the trail was also so nice and not super rocky/ rooty. I also had some service during the walk so I was able to get a few texts out to the fam. Hopefully I’ll have more service coming up as I get closer to Tahoe!
We got to the top of the climb, and right as we started descending, there were many snow patches, which would be a theme of the descent. They honestly weren’t too bad, but there was so much mud and loose scree that it made walking around the snow to get to the tracks kind of sketchy. I fell down twice today, one of which was kind of scary bc I fell down snow going downhill and lost a trekking pole (was able to recover!) and basically had to crawl back up snow/ scree to the trail. I got a little cut up from that one.
Finally I reached the bottom and Butters was waiting for me at the sign. There were posters for trail magic at the picnic area so we went over there but there wasn’t anything happening. We walked down to the highway to try to get a hitch and the guy who was doing the trail magic was leaving and offered one of us a ride since he only had room for one! I took it so Hot Mess & Butters could stay together. I had a lovely ride with him. Turns out he lives in Palo Alto and he does trail maintenance with the PCTA for this section (Dorothy Pass to Carson Pass) and he was just a really nice guy to talk to! He said he had 99 hikers come through in 2 days, which is why he packed up early: he ran out of food!
He dropped me off right at the Kennedy Meadows resort and I was able to check in and get a bunk room. Hot Mess & Butters arrived shortly after me, and I convinced them to stay the night as well, as they were unsure if they were going to. Without much time for relaxing, I got right in to chores: resupply shopping in the store, re-organizing stuff, getting a shower, and waiting to get laundry done. When I finally got my laundry in the wash, I got dinner in the restaurant, and then was able to get my clothes in a dryer. We socialized with the younger workers who were also trying to do laundry and one of the cowboys bought me a soft serve, which was very sweet of him. After all of that, it was time to get to bed! Verizon had cell service so I was able to get a little bit by hooking up to Hot Mess’s hot spot and check Instagram and try to get a blog post scheduled. The service was really slow so I ended up falling asleep while doing these things. At 11 pm! So late for hiker standards.