THE END OF SNOW
PCT DAY 73: Mile 1198.7 – Mile 1221.5
Saturday June 25, 2016: 22.8 miles (36.5 km)
It was difficult to describe our day today. It had it’s moments of hiking by breathtaking scenery, moments of pedestrian walking through logged forest, moments of hiking through sweet smelling flower covered mountain sides and yes hiking through some snow, but not any one of these predominated. The weather was hot without much breeze which made it all very enjoyable.
We left our ridge top campsite in a rush to escape a strong easterly wind which came up through the night. As soon as we dropped behind the ridge, the wind was blocked. The rest of the morning we hiked along a trail perched high above a valley. The morning sunshine felt warm on our backs. Great start to the day.
The trail continued through a dense pine forest. We met 2 new northbound hikers, a retired couple from Newcastle, Australia. It was a surprise that we had not met Paul and Jan before as they left Campo a few days after us. But they had some bad luck in the Sierras which required medical attention and they skipped a few hundred miles to avoid the snow.
Being a weekend and a beautiful day there were lots of day hikers out. We stopped to chat to a few but soon realised that we will not get far if we stopped to talk to all of them. The trail criss-crossed with numerous dirt roads which provided access to the forest and the numerous lakes we could see to the east and west if us. It would be a great area to come back to for some lakeside car camping.
The heat intensified through the afternoon which made the uphill hiking harder then normal. We seemed to be lethargic and low on energy. All I could think about was how hungry I felt. Hammer seemed to be feeling it even more as he did not get much sleep the night before. And just at that point we encountered snow. Small nuisance sized patches at first but they got a little bit bigger as we progressed. A few days ago we passed a southbound hiker who told us that the snow will end at mile 1,221. So that became our target for the day. Let’s hope he is right.
We finished the day feeling physically shattered and fell asleep as soon as we were in our sleeping bags.