Miles Hiked: 27.5
PCT Mileage: 100.3
I woke up at 5am in my tent on Bensen Lake Beach. It was cold and I didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag. I waited until 6am hoping either Pop Rocks or Tiger Lily would start moving before me. It would be ideal if they left camp first so I could catch up to them later. Of course I can’t wait any longer and start to make a bunch of noise packing my things up after 6am. I am always the camp alarm clock it seems like. Afterwards they started moving too but I still end up leaving camp first. The day starts with a climb up Seavy Pass. It is steep but has lots of nice steps perfect for my height. Sometimes the rock steps on a trail are so big it is uncomfortable for me to lift my legs up high enough to hike upwards. I love when trail builders are able to take short people into consideration with their building materials and techniques. I pass a few alpine lakes on the way, and grab some water from a flowing stream to filter at the top of Seavy Pass. I sit there for almost 50 minutes, filtering water and eating my breakfast. No one catches up to me. I must move on.
I go down the other side of Seavy Pass taking my time on the downhill. I am hiking so slow today because I am tired. The valley at the bottom is gorgeous. I think the Yosemite section of the PCT is my favorite. The granite rocks and all the pines remind me of Montana and New England. At the bottom I cross a large flowing creek on a massive log upstream. On the other side I take another snack break and de layer my warm puffy since I’m about to start sweating on the uphill. There are lots of ups and downs today. I kind of enjoy it. It reminds me of the AT. I cross another valley and another large creek. I start looking for dry crossing options on this one but find none. I see a girl sitting on the other side and ask her how she crossed. She told me she went straight thru it. The bottom looks sandy and soft with pebbles so I take my shoes off for this one. I am determined to keep my feet dry today. On the other side I take a break and get to know this girl as “Bone Broth” we both eat lots of snacks and talk about how we don’t know where our hiking friends are. Another up and downhill later, I find myself at Wilma Lake. I see a group of hikers sitting in the sun. Ziploc who I met at Tuolumne calls me over. I take a break with all the other hikers. I pull out my sleeping bag to dry it in the sun and also use it to keep me warm. I get cozy because I plan on waiting here for more than an hour for Pop Rocks and Tiger Lily. In the meantime I catch up on writing my blog so I have less work to do at Kennedy Meadows. After an hour and a half they still don’t show. I determine it’s late enough to leave and continue on. I knew they might now make the miles today and I saw this as a sign .
At 3pm I start hiking the last part of my day as swiftly as I can. I wasted so much time sitting around this AM. I get an in reach message from Pop Rocks saying they won’t make it to the planned campsite at 24 miles today. I am bummed I won’t see my friends and annoyed I waited around for so long, but I’m glad that I can now push on even farther tonight if I want to. The climb up Dorothy Pass is the easiest one yet. The trail went slightly uphill for 10 miles before cresting over the pass. If it weren’t for it being called a pass and the scenery changing on the other side I would have no idea it was a pass. The south side was a big muddy meadow. I was careful with each step to keep my feet dry. I pretended I was in Maine. The sky was dark and cloudy. Sometimes very little amounts of snow pelted me. I was waiting for it to start storming. It never did. Dorothy Lake was pretty in the moody lighting with bits of sunshine hitting the peak behind it.
Once I got to the top of Dorothy Pass, it was all downhill. I was tired but motivated to get closer to town tonight. To make my day easier tomorrow. I picked my way slowly through lots of rocks and snow around all sorts of small alpine lakes or snow melt puddles. I saw a girl I thought looked very familiar. I asked if she was Bahama Mama. I met her on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. It was! She catches up to me soon after I pass. We chat away and get to cross the 1000 mile mark together. What a cool day. We are on the same page about stopping soon and we join an older man named Apache at the next campsite. We both cowboy camp out of exhaustion. It is cold this evening.