Sonora Pass

My little camp in the trees was so nice and cozy, I didn’t want to leave.

It was a good thing I checked the trail ahead. For weeks I have just let my water run out and then tanked up at the next source. I’ve been crossing little streams about every ten minutes. But I’m in volcanic mountains now and they really suck it up. I almost headed into an 8 mile stretch with less than a liter. But I did check, so I walked about ten minutes back down where I could fill up at a spring.

Absolutely beautiful perfect day walking the crest. This is what I like! I like these mountains a lot more than the high Sierra with all its stone steps. I like mountains with stuff growing on them, not just rock and ice.

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The switchbacks in the foreground is the PCT.

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Where I came from…

I felt good too, despite my heavy pack. My only ailment is my left ankle where my shoe is rubbing it, mainly on the downhills. Why my shoe waited 200 miles to start hurting is a mystery.
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That trace on the left is the trail heading for that notch.

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This is the kind of view that makes me think, “Damn. I’m hiking to Canada!”

There was a spot going down where the trail switched back, but most of it was covered in snow. I decided to “boot ski” straight down, which started out great. But the snow drift got progressively steeper and steeper, and towards the bottom I was shooting down this four or five foot face at really high speed! I hit the trail running and it’s a real miracle I didn’t crash and burn. I shouldn’t do that. It was a close one. Too close. Nevertheless, when it was all over, I thought it was pretty cool and wished someone was there to see it.

I hiked the ten miles to Sonora Pass by 1230. Jay wasn’t supposed to be there until two, but there was trail magic! Hank “The Tank” had come up from the Central Valley. It was his first time doing trail magic, but he had everything! I was most interested in the beer. I sat in a camp chair and drank beer and talked to Hank and other hikers until my uncle showed up around three.

I wish I had a scale to weigh my still full bear canister. That was probably ten pounds of weight that I hiked from Tuolumne Meadows that was completely unnecessary. I also got rid of my pile pants, sleeping bag liner, and a few other things I won’t be needing for a while (like a bunch of extra food).

I thought my pack would be feather light walking out of there but it was not. In addition to my resupply whiskey, I had asked Jay to bring me a six-pack of beer, but he brought 12, so I hiked out with 7 beers.

Needless to say, with all that beer both inside and out, I didn’t go far. Besides it was about 1730 when I left. I went less than two miles and found a nice spot to make camp and drink more beer!

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