Days 58 & 59
Miles These Days: 25.4, 24.5
We got up early Monday morning and were the first ones out of camp at 6am. It was chilly, but as soon as we started hiking we were incredibly comfortable. The first 6 miles was a breeze as it was all pretty much a gradual downhill and we were still in the pines.
Some shots Tailgate liked of PCT markers along the early morning's hike:
We hit Piute Mountain Road where there was a bench so we took our morning break and saw this large guy wander by:
After watching a couple deer walk by we packed up and prepared to drop back down into the desert. A few of the hikers we camped with the night before had told us to enjoy the forest because it would soon end...they weren't lying.
We got a good idea of what we would be hiking through to highway 178 once we hit Kelso Valley Road. Luckily though, there was a great water cache at Kelso Valley that allowed us to take a break and make sure we were good and hydrated before heading off into the next stretch of desert. We drank as much as we could and topped off with a little more water because we knew we would more than likely be dry camping (which we did).
The rest of the day was pretty mellow, with a pretty easy grade of trail, but we are definitely ready to be in the Sierras and out of the desert.
We had a good day and camped at PCT mile 627.5 along the top of a ridge. With the view of the stars we had this night we can definitely understand why the nearby canyon on the maps is named Bright Star Canyon.
We woke up VERY early this morning knowing that we had to be in Lake Isabella by 4pm when the post office closed. We were hiking by 5am and knew we would be lucky to make it the 24.5 miles in time. Luckily we had met a section hiker who offered us a ride into town so we knew we had a chance to make it.
We made it the 4 miles to a water cache at Bird Spring Pass and filled up for the 13 miles to the next water. It was early though and not wanting to take too much water from the cache, we both only left with 2 liters each. From there we started our biggest climb of the last few days, (roughly 1500ft in about 3.5 miles) but Twist led the way and we charged right up.
From just shy of 7,000ft, the trail hung pretty high the rest of the day and wove in and out of the hills. We stopped off for the last water until the highway at McIvers Spring. We double treated the water from this source because of all the reports in Yogi's book of mistreatment of this water source (fingers crossed neither of us get sick in this section).
A couple miles after our lunch break at the Spring we got a visit from our 12th Rattler of the trip. Just before beginning our descent down to the highway, Twist got the warning from a trail side shrub. I skirted around the other side of the trail. It hadn't really occurred to us, but until this one, we hadn't seen a single snake since entering the Mojave until now.
We hiked hard to get to the highway and were in our section hiking friend, Dave's, car by 3:30pm. Unfortunately, we didn't make the post office before closing....SO we are now at the Lake Isabella Motel where we will be staying the night. We will get our package in the morning and hitch back to the trail where we will head into section G and on to Kennedy Meadows.
Having the best milkshake of my life at Nelda's in Lake Isabella.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone