PCT Day 142 ,Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 61

September 1

Mile 1030.7 to mile 1016.9, Sonora Pass, 13.8 PCT miles, no off trail miles!!
PCT total: 1423.5
Running total: 1549.3
We woke up excited because we had less than 14 miles to hike!! AND WE WEREN’T THE LAST ONES OUT OF CAMP!! {Two people had passed while we were still in the tent, but the guy we camped by was still there when we left!}

Matt has been a saint and has opened my bar can for me before every single meal- I just can’t do it! (HE struggles to open mine, so it’s just not me!)

We started off with some gradual ups and downs for about 4 miles, then we had a 5.8 mile climb from 8123 feet to over 10500 feet! While I was hiking up I kept thinking, “did my pack get so tight overnight that it’s preventing me from taking a good, deep breath?” But then I realized that no, it wasn’t my pack preventing me from talking a good, deep breath but the fact that we were climbing up over 10,000 for the first time in a LONG time!! Duhhh.
Although the climb was challenging, it was a “hey gurlll, you’re hiking up some pretty steep terrain over 10,000 feet” challenging, not the same feeling of tired, weak, & hopelessly challenging that we had experienced a few days before. There was NO way we would have been able to do this climb two days ago, but today it was fine, despite being a bit slower than usual.

We made it to the top and met a cool couple on their first backpacking trip together! The guy had done backpacking trips “back in the day” but it was the lady’s first- they were out for 4 days I believe? Badass! We told them about the 3:30 shuttle to Kennedy Meadows North, a campground/resort/pack station with a store and restaurant- they didn’t think they would make it down by then but would try!

Highest point of the PCT thus far…it’s only gonna get higher from here though!

We started our climb down, down, down into Sonora Pass. Guys, it was SO GORGEOUS!!

On the way we had our permits checked by a ranger and we were told that even though our permits state we are heading northbound, since we are within our permit dates we should be fine to continue south. We have heard rumors, though, of angry rangers forcing people off-trail and “voiding” their permits for not following the direction stated on the permit- fingers crossed!

Once we got down to the Sonora Pass trailhead, we saw Helium and Kaput and met their friend Walter. Walter was their Jesse (aka their resupply guy/storer of extra equipment, savior, etc.). Walter was there to resupply Helium and Kaput for the next section & was joining them for the next 6 miles and overnight. Walter gave me a half of a peach, which I shared with Matt. Again, Sraight-Off-The-Trail-Ali didn’t concern herself with whose hands had touched that peach & what knife was used to cut it- I did a quick rinse and devoured it. It was fuckin delicious.

Walter also offered me an uncut melon, which I graciously accepted. What the fuck was I gonna do with an uncut melon?? No idea. I just wanted it- I wanted it all!!! {Spoiler alert: I didn’t eat the uncut melon. I later pawned it off on another two thru-hikers who seemed just as excited as I was to receive a melon…wonder if they ever cut it?}
Matt and I sat at a picnic table eating our leftover snacks as we waited for the shuttle. Eventually we were joined by the first-time backpackers- they made it in time!! While we were all hanging out, a lady came by asking if I wanted her extra fuel- Matt and I had meant to pick up an extra canister before leaving Tahoe but we had forgotten, so this was awesome!!! She also offered us poptarts. Yes. Done.
THEN, as we packed up to head over to wait for the shuttle, a day-hiker, Dan, came over and asked if we wanted a ride to Kennedy Meadows North- all four of us piled into his Honda Fit and we were off.
When we arrived to Kennedy Meadows North, Matt and I reserved two beds in their dorms, showered, did laundry, and made dinner reservations for 6. The dorms are small bedrooms above the general store/restaurant with 5 beds to a room. We were placed in a room with Peggy, trail name Grambo, an older lady who had started section hiking the PCT in 2009. When she told us she was section hiking I had assumed she was doing a short section but NOPE! This badass lady was finishing her LAST section of the PCT with a stretch of over 450 miles!!!!!! Yep, bad.ass.
As it neared time for dinner I killed time by browsing the store to scope out our resupply options. I ended up buying a box of cheeze-its and started eating it while we waited for our table. I think in real-life Matt would have been mortified that I brought a box of cheeze-its to our dinner reservation, but on the PCT anything flies…

{Shit, speaking of, there was a sign in the laundry room/shower building that asked PCT hikers not to walk around naked since this is a family resort…I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture! But really, on-trail, anything goes }
Dinner was okay, dessert was delicious! After dinner we headed over to the saloon nextdoor. The old bartender and his pal sitting at the corner of the bar reminded me of the old, grumpy muppets. They kept Matt and I laughing with their banter.

At one point the power went out, surprising everyone. {The entire resort is run on a generator that they turn off each night whenever the bar closes…} One of the patrons said, “I’ve been coming here for 20 years and this has never happened!!”…well, how typical is that for PCT 2019?? The outage was brief, and soon after the power came back on Matt and I returned to our room, shortly before 9. We played around on our phones for a bit before calling it a night…

2 thoughts on “PCT Day 142 ,Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 61

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