Morning broke, sunshine, rest, new hope. I would continue to mammoth Lakes.
It was so very kind of David to hike in on the Kearsarge Pass trail spur!!! What a joy to have him hail me from across a mountain lake. I savored out time together sitting a on granite slab. He had brought me my favorite, a veggie Subway sandwich and a hot coffee in a thermos!!
He also carried all the supplies I thought I would need for the next 100+ miles. I went through them again, taking out food and rejecting extra clothes. While David expressed concern, I maintained that if the pack was too heavy I could not make the miles.
We hugged, kissed, and said goodbye. I looked back on that moment many times over the next several days wishing I had held him just a little bit longer.
Glenn Pass was that afternoon, beautiful, long, tiring but not sketchy (sketchy is a word used on the PCT to mean, “ I thought I might die”). The descent again took hours of GPS navigation through a maze of beauty, sun cups, collapsing snow bridges and stream fords.
Under low snow conditions the Sierras are a challenge. During this July of 2019, the route changes daily, tracks melt into suncups; snow bridges collapse, seasonal streams rage as torrents, mountain lakes overflow enveloping the trail for miles in an ever changing pattern. The CA Dept of Water Resources takes a monthly snowpack reading on Feb 5th of the Sierra Nevada snowpack every year. This year, their reading showed the snowpack to be the highest in 40 years, and the snow kept falling well into May, exceeding by far the 2017 snowpack that pulled the state out of a 5 year drought.
The wonderful part of this is that this snow covering, now melting out, leaves stunning high definition outlines of the amazing rock formations in these magnificent mountains.
This remote area is now so beautiful that it is almost overwhelming; every mile a changing view, each as beautiful as the next.
It is an interesting combination, incredible beauty, physical exhaustion.
We slept that night at the grand suspension bridge, marking the 800 mile MP.