Miles: 1017.7 to 1043.2
The sun hit our tent early and the heat woke me up. Richard soon followed and we packed up. The air outside the tent wasn’t quite as warm as inside, but we got moving quickly enough.
Just 100 feet further down the trail, we saw what would have been a lovely campsite, if we had bothered to walk the extra minute. Figures.
We crossed the road at Sonora Pass and started uphill. The trail gradually took us up to 10,500 feet for the last time on the PCT.
The south side of the ridge was dry. On the north side, however, we spent a while trying to find the trail under all the snow. We eventually made our way low enough that snow wasn’t an issue and continued north.
The trail for the last couple of days has been confusing for me. I am used to keeping myself oriented directionally. I can usually tell which way is north regardless of where I am (woods, city, etc.) but the trail around Sonora Pass has stumped me multiple times. We’ve been hiking near treeline, so sometimes there’s a view and sometimes not. When we above the trees, I look around and think I have myself ordered. Then we duck into the woods for a mile or two, contour a ridge for a while, flip over the top of it and come back around again. Or at least, it feels like we’re hiking in circles, even though we’re headed predominantly north. I hope.
We took a break next to a seasonal stream. Thanks to all the snowmelt, we have not wanted for water for a couple hundred miles. It’s so nice to pass so many sources of water and to sleep next to water without leaving the trail. I’ll miss this in the drier sections of Northern California.
The sun was bright and warm all day. No clouds to speak of. That probably means we have a storm due us, but better to enjoy the sun now.
We got to our intended campsite around 6:30 p.m. It was a huge improvement, time-wise, from the night before. But I had to promise Richard we’d attempt another 30-mile day the next day to get him to stop before 7 p.m. One of his weird hiker quirks is no camping until after 7 p.m. I get it. He wants to make the most of the day. (My weird hiker quirk is no eating or arguing on the uphills. I can’t breathe and swallow or breathe and make my point while climbing.) But sometimes you have to break your own rules.
I set up the tent while Richard made a fire and dinner. We were in the tent by 9 p.m.