Recounting my final days on the trail. Mile 1498-1516.
We woke up super early this morning, and it was probably the second coldest night on the trail. Everything was frozen, and the ground was permafrost. I also never ate dinner last night because I got in to camp so late, so I was extra cold.
We headed out and just a few miles up the trail I reunited with Spacejam, Speck, and Ten Gallon. It’s been more than 2 weeks since I saw the two S’s, and about a week since I saw Ten Gallon. It’s like our whole crew is sort of gravitating back together for the next phase of the hike.
The hiking today was so much easier than what I’ve been doing. Mosquitos were a bit nasty in the earlier part of the day. Doing this kind of hiking has meant that the days less adventurous and more focused on just getting miles done. Everyone is talking about how they are going to get to Canada before time runs out. So I think the tone now is - miles, not smiles. We’ll see how it turns out and where folks end up.
I also didn’t even think to pull out my camera once today. The focus now is getting my body acclimated to doing 30 miles a day…hopefully.
The rest of my hiking crew got out earlier today and I knew I wasn’t going to catch them. Because I am up on the north shore, I have an extra 45 min to travel to get to the trail. My cousin Raul, his mom, and my cousin Elizabeth helped me pack up my stuff. We said goodbye to my parents and Jessica, who jumped in their car and headed back to the airport in Reno. Saying goodbye to them sucked, as always.
We jumped in Raul’s truck and drove back to the trail head. I didn’t arrive there until almost 3pm in the afternoon. I had no idea how far ahead the rest of my crew was so I started inquiring with day hikers if they had seen some nasty looking PCT hikers - I got enough intel to figure out that they had summited Dick’s pass. I hauled ass to get there. The hiking for the most part was pretty chill, with plenty of exposed trail.
I got up to the top of Dick’s pass, which gave way to amazing panoramic views of the area, it was already 8:30pm and the sun was basically down. On the north side of the pass was a ton of snow and ice, and fairly steep. I was loosing light quick so I rushed down.
Every campsite I found, I was expecting to run into the crew but I would either find the sites empty or would find them occupied by huckleberries. Eventually, around 9pm, I found one more site and a headlamp in the woods. It was shakedown trying to poop. I yelled, “MARCO!” and then I heard “BEASTIE!!! OVER HERE!”. I found the scoundrels. As soon as I pulled up they all hit the sack. Righteous and I smoked a cigarette and called it a night.