Miles Hiked: 21.7
PCT Mileage: 803.3
This morning Fry and I got up early to catch the 7am bus to Independence. We were all packed up and leaving the motel at 6:15am. We had to walk a mile to the grocery store where the bus stop was. On the way we both got Mc Donalds ice coffee. I was hoping it would give me the energy I had when I left Walker Pass. Turns out it did. All morning I had a headache from getting so dehydrated and sleep deprived. I was not feeling great but I was looking forward to being back on trail. We got dropped off in Independence at 8am. We both went to the gas station to use a real toilet one last time and buy some drinks. I got a Powerade. Next we stood on the road that goes directly to the Onion Valley Trailhead waiting for a hitch. A Forest service worker picked us up on his way to work on the trail for the day. The road was very curvy and gained significant elevation. It was once again wild to go from the hot desert floor to the cool lush Alpine mountains of the Sierra.
It was 9:30 by the time Fry and I started hiking. My pack felt light and other than my headache I felt good. I hardly ate in town so I didn’t feel bloated and I didn’t over pack on food. Knowing how big the climb was I wanted to make sure I felt good for it. Fry and I cruised up very easily and passed so many day hikers on the way. I was glad. I ended up drinking all my water and Powerade on the way hoping my headache I had since yesterday would go away. When we got to the top of Kersarge Pass I ate some Oreos and peanut butter that Fry shared with me and had a Tylenol for my head.
Fry and I hiked the whole day together. We took a break to eat food before climbing over Glen Pass. The trail dropped in elevation and then climbed right back up to the top of Glen. My headache went away and I was feeling great so I flew up the switchbacks easily. It’s so nice to be able to breeze on up a mountain pass like it’s no big deal. That’s not always the case for me. The top of Glen was pretty but not as good as Forester or Kersarge. We didn’t spend much time at the top before picking our way down through snow and loose rocks. The trail was covered quite a bit but there was enough open rocks to hop on that it wasn’t a big deal. I’m glad we don’t have much snow because I think I would be scared otherwise. Honestly though, none of the passes so far have been anywhere near what I had worked them up to be in my head. I thought they would l be way steeper than they have been. Also the trail has been very wide which makes me feel comfortable. No scary drop offs on a skinny ledge like some parts of the desert
After Glen Pass, the trail goes through Rae Lakes. They were all massive and clear blue. I could see trout swimming in them without even looking hard for them. I wanted to stop and swim but I wasn’t hot enough and I knew the lakes would be absolutely freezing with snow melt. The trail went downhill for quite sometime. It was nice to be able to hike those miles really fast. I started to notice how much the snow was melting. There was water EVERYWHERE and all the creeks and rivers were flowing very fast. Luckily I was still able to keep my feet dry until the last five miles. Fry and I ate dinner at the bottom of the valley near a suspension bridge. I was glad to see a bridge over the rushing river because it easily would sweep me away if I had to cross it right now. For dinner I made a cashew chicken curry backpacker meal. It was okay but I wouldn’t buy it myself. One of my favorite foods ever is Thai red curry. I’ve tried several different backpacking curry meals and all of them have been disappointing since they aren’t Thai style. I’d love to be able to make my own and nail it. Fry also shared some Mott’s gummies with me and I had a few “that’s it” fruit bars.
The last four miles to camp were all uphill. Both Fry and I were very tired from pushing all the miles with a late start to the day. It was hard to end the day with another uphill after we already did so much. I found out that we did 5,800 feet of elevation gain today which is a a lot for 22 miles starting at 9:40am. We set up camp in some green grass near a stream. Tomorrow the first thing we would do is climb another 2k feet. I’m glad we got half of the 4k climb with out of the way today. It’s nice to break it up. At camp, the mosquitos were so bad I set up my tent and instantly threw everything inside of it and got inside myself. I usually like to do all my chores outside my tent but it was so buggy I needed some protection. I totally forgot to get a head net and bug spray. It’s night one back on trail and I’m having some big regrets about that.