Monday, June 25, 2018
Today’s Miles: 14.10 | Trip Miles: 1207.60
Start Location: PCT Mile 788.5 Bullfrog Lake Trail to Kearsarge Pass/Bishop |Destination: PCT Mile 802.6
Bishop can really spoil a hiker, especially a hiker with his wife. I was sore and tired when I arrived but I had spent my time eating and healing while my wife took care of the dirty tasks like laundry.
I also spent some time on a pack shakedown and planning additional resupply strategies. In the shakedown, I dropped some serious weight. The first casualties were my microspikes, based on reports of low snow levels on the upcoming passes. I also ditched my cold weather clothing – it was 100 degrees in Bishop. Swapping out my battery pack was another big savings and then I got rid of some small items that weren’t getting enough use to justify their existence. I also got a big, unintended savings on water but that was later so I’ll cover that in the correct time.
By the time I left, I had a new feeling. It wasn’t so much anxiety as like the previous times but as we drew closer to the Onion Valley Trailhead, the adrenaline had certainly started flowing. It turned out to be just the thing because it wasn’t long before I missed the trail junction and headed off the wrong trail. I realized my mistake after 10 minutes or so and mustered the fortitude to accept the mistake rather than to doggedly press on as I might have in an earlier part of my life. By the time I did find the right trail, there were hikers ahead of me, many of whom I passed effortlessly with a very moderate and sustainable pace. Almost before I knew it, I was making the final switchback at the summit of a 4.5 mile, 2,700 ft climb.
There were a group of Youngsters already there and I interviewed them for my vlog. One of them actually had been following my YouTube channel and recognized the Rabid Rabbit.
As a purist (sort of) I decided to follow the same trail that I came out on, back to the PCT while the others chose a slightly shorter route. Still, when I reached the point where the trails meet, they were all having a rest while I marched on towards Glen Pass. We engaged in a game of leapfrog, as much because of my taking photos as they age difference. Summiting Glens Pass gave me two scalps for the day.
By now I realized that my carefully crafted plan was flawed. I had accidentally entered the wrong starting mileage in my spreadsheet and I was now 10 miles ahead.
The area past Glen Pass was some of the most scenic I had encountered with gorgeous lakes and beautiful mountain views . I also encountered a suspension bridge allowing for one hiker at a time.
Below Glen Pass, I began hiking with Ran, from Israel. We had similar plans but different styles so the partnership was doomed from the start but it was pleasant hearing about Ran’s aspirations. We trudged uphill for what seemed like hours along a swift creek and finally camped a few miles short of the Pinchot Pass summit. Here, mosquito season began. There was one camper when we arrived and two ladies arrived later. When I left in the morning, they were all still asleep.