Miles Hiked: 24
PCT Mileage: 915.4
Since I got to camp so early last night I was able to sleep well and wake up really early. I was on trail at 5am. Around 2am last night Vulture woke everyone up and told us to put our filters away because everything was freezing. A frozen filter will compromise it so I was thankful he woke us all up. My sleeping bag was covered in ice and everything in my water bottles was frozen. The morning was pretty cold too. I had all my warm stuff on including gloves. I was really tired but I wanted to be able to do a big day if I could because I really wanted to get to Yosemite tomorrow. After Virginia Lake the trail went by Purple lake and continued downhill all the way to Reds Meadow. Halfway to Red’s I stopped for a snack break, to filter water, and dry out my wet sleeping bag in the sun. I was glad when it finally warmed up. I would check for cell service occasionally because I heard I might get some around here. I have Verizon but it seems like T Mobile is the best cell service on the PCT. I was shocked when I did get service a few miles from Reds Meadow. I stopped to sit down and take a break for a minute while I texted my family and friends. It was nice to have the service and be able to text as I was hiking. I was feeling lonely and homesick for the first time on this trip today.
It was 11am when I walked into Red’s Meadow. Immediately bought a beer and a post card and then went to find the hot spring I heard about. It was a 0.3 mile walk to it and I had it all to myself. I stripped down and got in. It was perfectly hot and my sore muscles relaxed for the first time in what felt like days. I tried to rub all the dirt off my legs while I had the opportunity. I also went completely under so I could comb out my matted greasy hair. I don’t think my hair has ever been this gross on a thru hike but every time I have the opportunity to take a shower there is never shampoo or if there is it’s a junky kind that makes my hair feel worse than it I didn’t wash it at all. I stayed in there for 20 minutes. The spring was directly in the sun so I got pretty hot but the time it was over but I felt so refreshed. I wish I could get into a hot spring in the middle of my hike everyday.
After Red’s Meadow I really struggled for the rest of the day. I went to see Devil’s Post pile national monument which was just off trail. Then I took a JMT alternate because it had more lakes on it. I had to climb more vert but it was less miles. The first part of the alt kind of sucked, it was loose sandy gravel with lots of fallen down trees. My shoes had no traction so I slipped backwards with every step. After the first six miles, it got better. I started to see some pretty lakes but I was also getting really tired. I was taking a break once an hour by the end of my day. At 6pm I had already gone 27 miles. It was early to set up my camp, but I couldn’t make myself go anymore. I found a really cool spot on a rock ledge hidden from sight of the trail so I set up my cowboy camp and had an amazing view for the night. Luckily there was some service at camp so I was able to text my family. Fry and all the others I camped with last night went to the town of Mammoth for today. I was honestly excited to have a night alone on the trail. My plan was to wake up super early tomorrow to hike into Tuolumne in time to catch the bus.