Trail location: 1687
Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2342
Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 326
Miles hiked today: 12.4
High/low temp/humidity: 69/49/20
Spinning on the turntable: Coldplay: Live in Beunos Aires
This morning began with a steep uphill climb to Benson pass. I was pleased leave the lake and feel fairly good going “up”.
I wonder if the combination of a lower mile hike yesterday and having someone to chat with last night gave me bit of a an emotional bounce. I take it, whatever it was. I did pass one downhill hiker who seemed so happy that I wanted to kneecap him. Be happy on the uphill buddy, keep quiet when you’re on the downhill!
The pass elevation was about 10,100′. I snacked on an energy bar (gag) and hung out for a few minutes before starting my descend on the other side of Benson pass.
I met a hiker, guessing he was in his mid-70s, who was slowly making his way up the mountain. He was dressed like it was 30 degrees outside. I didn’t know what to tell him that would be encouraging since he was a few miles fro the summit, so I told him that the trail would soon transition from rocks to smooth dirt and needles. He seemed happy to hear it. He told me that he’d just had his trial permit checked by a park ranger, so I kept my eyes open the rest of the day for a ranger. Never saw one.
The older fellow did encourage me to summit Mt. Whitney. He said he’d done it, and if he could do it, then I could certainly do it too. I wasn’t convinced. We’ll see what happens down the trail when it’s decision time, but right now, with my legs bothering me, I’m very much inclined to pass on it.
I had another water crossing at lunch. It wasn’t much of anything, just a quick rock hop.
I ate a quick lunch under a shade tree next to the river and then hit the trail again. I met two section hikers shortly thereafter that are working on this section. They’ve been working on the PCT for about a decade and should be finished within the next few years. It was fun to chat about the places that we’ve hiked. I couldn’t help but notice they they were dragging along a (very out of shape) couple who looked very miserable…on a downhill…ouch! No way out except a long hill climb. I felt sorry for the non-hiking couple.
I stopped at a lake for a break and decided it was time to go for a swim. It was me and a few birds, other than a few bird noises, all was quiet. I splashed around for a few minutes and then sat on a rock and soaked my feet for about twenty minutes. I laid on the beach for about twenty minutes to dry out, and then hit the trail again.
Heading down into camp this afternoon the trail was fairly rough. It looks like a significant storm occurred last year so there’s been a great deal of trail work performed. (I was thankful for no stairs.)
The Leuko tape has started to remove “good” skin from my feet. I need to lay off the tape. Tomorrow I’ll meet up with Noelle and I’m planning for a little needle and thread action on the blisters.