PCT Day 50: Sierra Day 9: Muir Pass

Miles Hiked: 25

PCT Mileage: 852.3

This morning I woke up at 6am. I was really exhausted from getting to camp late the night before. Regardless I packed up all my things and hit the trail as fast as I could. I woke up Fry who told me he was going to hang at camp late and be behind me. The first miles of the day were through the bottom of the valley. The San Joaquin river was rushing so loud next to the trail I could hardly hear my own thoughts. At one point I even got misted from the water. It was nice. I was really tired and not moving fast at all today. After the trail climbed for a bit, I stopped to take a break and make some couscous with dehydrated veggies.

The trail continued on and the climb went into the hot sun. I passed by some lakes and creeks that were flooding all over the trail. The water got ice cold and made my feet ache from it. Eventually the trail was completely covered in snow and I had to navigate to the top of Muir Pass. Luckily the pass was pretty flat and easy, plus I saw a few hiker footprints here and there. It took an an hour to move the last mile up to the pass just because I would pot hole occasionally or get off course. I was so glad to finally be at the top and find a dry spot in the sun to take off my socks and shoes to let my numb feet dry off. At the top of the pass was Muir hut which was an octagonal building made of granite stones. It was really cool and I wished that my miles lined up enough to spend the night there but I had only gone ten miles today and it was noon. After drying off for a bit and eating snacks I headed down the pass into even more snow fields.

Luckily the snow fields on the other side of the pass were more straight forward. I could see a very obvious line that all the hikers took down the mountain. Because so many people took the same path, I hardly post holed which was nice. Once I got down to the flat section with snow between two lakes, I managed to post hole both of my feet together down into a deep hole of water. I banged my knee on a rock and the water came up to the bottom of my shorts and fanny pack. I struggled to get out of it but was glad when I did. The lakes I walked by were really pretty with melting ice patches on them. It looked like what I’d imagine the Arctic to be like. The water was almost glacial blue.

After the initial descent from the pass, the trail dropped down into Evolution Valley. This was my favorite part of the Sierra so far. The Alpine lakes were massive and there we so many little beaches and warm rocks to sit on. I stopped to take a break on one and dry off my feet for a little bit. It was so beautiful I didn’t want to leave but I needed to keep hiking because I hardly had enough food to make it to VVR tomorrow. I went through my bear can and realized I’d have to be thoughtful about what I ate or didn’t today. The decent was steep. I was so glad for the easy downhills but it really hurt my knees. Halfway down I stopped to take a break and cook myself dinner. I ate half of my chicken curry meal and out the rest in my backpack for later. I was feeling really tired but Fry hadn’t caught up to me yet so for the rest of the day I took a break every three miles and tried to hide from Mosquitos. At one point there was an alternative route option to cross Evolution Creek a safer way. I took the alternative route because I had been walking by the gushing Evolution Creek for quite a while and was afraid of what the actual crossing might be like. The alternate went through a nice soft green meadow and crossed the creek at a slow flowing clear part with a sandy bottom. I took off my socks and shoes to cross since they were mostly dry now and I could see that the bottom was soft. The water came up to the bottom of my shorts. On the other side I put my shoes back on and continued walking through the meadow until it linked back up with the PCT. I could see the actual crossing and it didn’t look bad but I was glad I could take my shoes off and keep my feet dry at the other one!

Now it was 7pm and golden hour. The creek and water fall looked in reverse beautiful in the evening glow. I stopped to get some good pictures of it before continuing down the last part of the descent to where I wanted to camp for the night. A 25 mile day so I could make it to VVR by doing a 30 mile day tomorrow. I was so tired but glad to be at camp. I set up my tent because the mosquitos were so bad. Fry showed up just as I was falling asleep.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

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