Day 62: Glen Aulin to PCT mile 969.5, 21.2 miles
Day 63: PCT mile 969.5 to 987.5, 18 miles
Day 64: PCT mile 987.5 to 1010.2, 22.7 miles
Day 65: PCT mile 1010.2 to 1020.9, 10.7 miles
We awoke on day 62 of our hike excited to see what Yosemite had in store for us. After our gorgeous hike over smooth granite rock formations, and past gushing creeks and falls, we pictured a day filled of more of the same. We were surprised then to find that the day was not like that at all; instead, we quickly dipped into a forested canyon, forded a stream, then climbed back up again only to drop back into another canyon and repeat. The end of the day we topped out at Benson Pass and were rewarded with a stunning view as we enjoyed our dinner. We hiked a few more miles before camping. We would have camped earlier, but we passed a lake and the mosquitos were thick, so we pressed on hoping they’d thin out a bit away from water.
The next day we discovered that the mosquitos did not thin out, as we were perpetually close to some sort of water. After the desert and lack of water, it is sometimes cruel how much water is in the Sierras! There is sometimes so much water, that the trail is inundated with a mini-cascade. Despite the mosquitos, we still had a nice hike and covered up in long sleeves, pants, and headnets. We had a nice view from Seavey Pass, and forded one last creek before pitching our tent for the night.
Day 65 was a big day, as we exited Yosemite through Dorthy Lake Pass and entered the Hoover Wilderness. We also passed mile marker 1000 on the PCT. Only 1,650 miles left to go!
After the pass the scenery changed dramatically. Gone were the snow crested craggy mountains, and instead we walked through a gently sloped forest. The mosquitos unfortunately remained the same, though! We assumed the trail would stay like this for awhile, but towards the end of he day we started a slow climb up to a surprisingly exposed ridge. We hiked for miles through a talus field, and it got windier the more we climbed. Our effort was rewarded with a sheltered campsite on the ridge behind some bushes, a memorable sunset, and no mosquitos!
The next day we made our way across the ridge through patches of snow and talus, and then climbed through a tight pass. Our jaws dropped when we saw that the scenery changed once again from small rocky mountain sides, to rolling green hills with red rocks and patches of trees.
We made our way down to the road through Sonora Pass, and caught a ride 11 miles west to North Kennedy Meadows Resort to pick-up our resupply package. We made it in time for second breakfast, and I had the fluffiest pancake, ever (I asked- the secret is beer in the batter!). Garrett had his new favorite out of the woods lunch; a hot dog with fries and a cheeseburger with fries. Afterwards we sorted through our seven days worth of food, secured additional snacks, and then caught a ride back up to the trailhead. We hiked four miles to a quiet spot above a lake, had dinner, and called it a good day!
May you be abandoned by the mosquitoes! Thank you for keeping us posted! Laura Rice
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