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!