Day 91: 7/8/14, PCT Mile 1003.6

Miles hiked: 16.6
Camped at: West Fork Walker River Bridge with Mad Hatter and section hikers

The 1000 milemarker, incredible. Almost 3 months to the day that I stood at the Mexican border brimming with joy and anxiety, and 1 month since I got back on the trail after the medical maladies were through, and here I stand today. To think, I’ve hiked through both the desert and the High Sierra, the 2 environments that caused the most fear ahead of time. Now, what I fear most is getting left behind.

Today’s nearly 17 miles both reassured me that when the terrain and elevation change are pleasant I can again hike 3mph, but also made me come to grips with the fact that until the high climbs are done I’m just not going to be doing 20+ mile days consistently. This is frustrating not only from the standpoint that I feel I should be back to full strength and endurance by now, but also that I’m stopping at 5pm, with hours left of daylight (in which to hike – obsessed much, am I?). I am grateful that I can hike at all, as I know far too many great folks off the trail for some injury or other. People still express surprise that I got back on the trail at all, or that I hiked the High Sierra with asthma. When I felt my “endless stride” during the easy sections today, the pace I can keep going all day long under the right conditions, I frankly wished I could teleport myself forward to northern CA where that can be a reality all day long (hopefully). I’ll be there soon enough, right?

For some reason I felt compelled to get to Dorothy Lake Pass before I ate lunch today. Goodbye Yosemite Wilderness! The long gradual hike up to the pass was truly lovely through meadows filled with wildflowers and random boulder-y sections. Dorothy Lake was gorgeous, and I had to soak my feet once again.

I didn’t see Cat Burglar and Firestarter all day (they are camped about a tenth of a mile back according to Mad Hatter), and indeed didn’t see any other northbound hikers until almost 3 pm. Loneliness struck again, but happily there are 5 other folks camping here tonight, so feeling lonely was fleeting. Mad Hatter also shared the good news that Blue Butterfly is only a day or so behind – I met her right before I got back on the trail, when I was camping at Horseshoe Meadow to get acclimated again. I so hope I run into her again.

Hemlock, Rewind, Blue Yonder, Rei, Teddy Rose, Glimmer, Happy Feet, Jordi, Writer, and so many others – you made my first 1000 miles on the PCT so memorable — thank you!! As I descended down from Dorothy Lake Pass, determined not to miss the 1000 marker as I had the last several, so many fun stories were running through my head.

In health news I have a weird chafing issue going on….with my belly button! How on earth did that happen?? Ahh, the weird life of a backpacker.

Wow, I did it!

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At 1000 miles:

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Dorothy Lake:

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View from Dorothy Lake Pass:

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Beautiful meadow walk filled with wildflowers up to Dorothy Lake:

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Goodbye Yosemite!

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1000 mile markers:

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One thought on “Day 91: 7/8/14, PCT Mile 1003.6

  1. YAY!!! 1000!!! Way to go my friend!

    OK so I totally related to when you said that you’ve done SoCal and the Sierra- those were my biggest fears when I was starting too, as you probably recall. And WE DID IT!!! And now that that’s accomplished, we have our new fears- yep the PCT does provide with constantly changing challenges. Gotta love it. My new fear is of course that my stress fracture will heal and that I will get back out there. But also I’m concerned like you are about hiking solo. When I get healed and am ready to get back out there, I’m thinking I will skip up to where my friends are. I’ve also learned that fall is an excellent time for NorCal, so if that’s true, I’m thinking of trying to pick up that section in October. Many plans, all depending of course on my foot. In the meantime, I really enjoy reading your blog and will be rooting for you!!! And of course still holding out hope I’ll see you out there!!!

    Like

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