Some of the team had various parcels to collect from the Post Office.. and by the time they’d arrived it was already 4pm!
The day being practically over we decided to delay our departure till tomorrow morning! Another day of luxury at the Budget Inn! Chilling and for once doing absolutely nothing.. except eating and sleeping!
PCT DAY 87.. 1st July 17 Mile 1103.4 8300 feet 12.5 miles
Back on trail by 10am and as always.. the first day was tough! Starting at Echo Lake we made our way past numerous day hikers out enjoying the ‘wild’.. and back into the serenity of the hills and mountains.. rivers and lakes.. snow and forests! Back.. it seems to our adopted home!
PCT DAY 88.. July 2nd Mile 1123.4 7300 feet 20 miles!
Today we were up super early to catch the snow before it turned to slush! We started our climb up to Dicks Pass at 3am and reached the top as the sun rose over the distant mountains! Perfect timing and the start to another perfect day here in the Californian wilderness!
We then proceeded over a number of other mountains.. all in the snow.. which unfortunately has made somewhat of a comeback over the last few days.. and with the snow come the various dangers.. hidden holes and crevasses.. which we had plenty of today!
By mid day however the snow gave way to ‘dry trail’ and the mountain traverses to forests.. from then on we were able to make good distance in the time remaining.. covering just under 20 miles and finishing the day by 4pm.. with over 12 hours of hiking! Though there were a huge number of ‘blown downs’ (trees that fall in high winds and storms.. and significantly block the trail!) especially in the forest section.. the day was enjoyed by all!
PCT DAY 89.. July 3rd Mile 1138.4 7600 feet 15 miles
Well the day has been a good one and as I write this I’m lying on the top of a huge granite rock.. surrounded by snow.. making the most of the last rays before the sun disappears beyond the mountains surrounding us! The sky is that cerulean blue.. and the pines are sentinels above me! As the birds sing their last songs of the day.. I listen to the gurgling of streams around me and I can think of no place I’d rather be right now than here.. peacefully alone in this immense wilderness!
Today was another.. like all before.. of stunning vistas and views that seem to go on forever! We climbed mountains.. crossed valleys.. skirted lakes and enjoyed the shade of forests! The wildlife was out playing and the flowers of spring never smelt better! Oh to experience the wonder and beauty of such a day!!
PCT DAY 90.. July 4th Mile 1153.4 (Truckee for 4th July celebrations!) 15 miles!
Up at 3am for the hike to Highway 40 (Donner Pass) and the hitch into Truckee.. a small town.. for the 4th July celebrations! (Also a resupply through tô Sierra City!)
I noticed this morning that as we get lower in elevation (coming out of the Sierras) the nights are getting warmer.. they are certainly not below freezing anymore.. and subsequently the mornings are easier on the body too! The last few mornings have been around 5 to 8 degrees Celsius..
Unfortunately still a lot of snow during the hike (it never seems to go away?!) but the good news for us is that it is substantially reducing.. once again.. as we get lower in elevation! Passed Squaw Valley ski resort as the sun came up over the mountains and Lake Tahoe in the distance! Then hiked numerous mountains and valleys.. the usual slippery ups and downs.. before encountering the throngs of day hikers out for the long 4th July weekend.. before ending at Donner Pass and the hitch into town!
The afternoon and evening were spent with the team and Rocky and Peaks who joined us after finishing their hike for the day.. before retiring to bed at 10!!
PCT DAY 91.. July 5th Mile 1060.8 7600 feet 7.4 miles
Packed up all our gear and headed out of the campsite after a sleep in till 7.. back over to Taco Bell for an early lunch (Taco Bell is the only food outlet near the campsite on the outskirts of Truckee!) then hitched a ride back up to Donner Pass and hiked Donner.. passed under Interstate 80 and over Castle Pass to a ‘remote’ little stone cabin called ‘Peter Grubb Hut’!
I say ‘remote’ as we were the only ones here on arrival.. however since then we’ve had 3 other groups of PCT hikers arrive so now all 12 of us are stretched out on our sleeping bags.. literally filling the floor space with no further room should anyone else arrive?! This hotel is full!! NO FURTHER VACANCIES!
PCT DAY 92.. July 6th Mile 1183.6 6300 feet 22.8 miles!
Now moving into the forest covered mountains of Northern California and thankfully due to the lower elevation.. the snow seems finally to have gone for the most part! We did have full snow cover to deal with this morning when we left the hut at 4am.. but it had all but disappeared by mid day.. and the trail was dry.. and free from blowdowns.. a welcome relief from the last 6 weeks in the Sierra!!
Camping by a river with less than 12 miles to cover tomorrow morning to get into Sierra City where we will be taking a ‘zero’ for resupply.. collecting packages from the Post Office.. laundry and shower.. (I haven’t showered now or laundered my one and only set of clothes for over 9 days!!!!)
Mozart will be leaving us tomorrow as he has to cover a vast number of miles per day in order to get to Canada by his deadline beginning September.. I may have to follow suit soon as both of us have visa and commitment deadlines?!
PCT DAY 93.. July 7th Mile 1195.4 4500 feet 11.8 miles
Up at 3 again for one of the most beautiful hikes in the forest yet.. and ALL on dry ‘dry’ trail!! No rivers or streams to cross.. no snow hills to climb and no blowdowns to hinder our progress!! It was purely an extremely pleasant.. easy.. hike in the woods.. towards Sierra City where we arrived just after 9 in the morning!
Checked into our ‘house stay’ at ‘River Haven’ with the lovely.. bubbly Susan as our host and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon collecting packages from both the Post Office.. and General Store.. relaxing and eating.. (Sierra City is one of those quaint little one street towns with text book shop frontages.. all wrapped up in a very conservative aire.. and parked right in the middle of the forest!)
Thank you SO much Mum and Dad.. AND Kalina and Andy for your AMAZING packages!! I just loved receiving them.. and I think you have all now contributed to at least half of my next resupply!! Thank you THANK YOU!!
PCT DAY 94.. July 8th ‘Zero’ day in Sierra City!!
Woke up late.. with the aim of doing ‘absolutely nothing’ today!! Haha!! Will relax on the terrace overlooking the river.. read the ‘Hiker’ magazine Mum and Dad sent! We may take a swim in the river at the bottom of the garden a little later.. but all in all.. today will be a day for mind and body relaxation and recuperation!