Day 20: Back on the Trail #3

Start: Mile 651.3

End: Mile 668.7

Miles Hiked = 17.4

One of the nice things about being a section hiker is that you can hop off the trail and not feel the pressure to grind out miles everyday. Several months ago Donna and I had committed to dog sit for my sister and her husband while they vacationed. They had taken care of our dog while we were on the trail so it was our turn to return the favor. Here I am with Tater (he’s from Idaho) – he thinks he’s a lap dog! Ellie is the little white furry dog and then there was Beau, our beagle.

Originally we had planned to reach Kennedy Meadows (KM) prior to our dog-sitting commitment, but Donna’s knee injury and weather issues had slowed us down. So this was the third and longest stint that I had been off trail since we began this section hike almost one month ago.

I was off the trail this time for ten days and only went for one short hike. But I did enjoy the time with Donna and her home cooking and some of my favorite wine. I also got to spend some time with my 93 year old father who lives near my sister. It was fifty years ago this summer that my Dad took me on my first backpacking trip in the Sierra’s. Been hooked ever since. Thanks Pop.

This morning Donna and I were up early and headed back to Walker Pass. I didn’t get started hiking until almost 10am and immediately started hiking uphill.

My legs struggled to perform to my expectations from several weeks ago. It’s amazing how fast us “old guys” loose our fitness.

I enjoyed nice views to the east towards Ridgecrest.

Shortly after I reached the top of the climb it started to rain. I pulled out my umbrella and continued hiking. The rain only lasted about thirty minutes and then cleared up.

I met several thru hikers today that had also been off the trail for the last week or so due to bad weather. A young couple from Germany used the time to visit Las Vegas – they didn’t like it very much. So I guess our dog sitting happened at the right time.

Later in the afternoon I passed a 1/4 marker next to the trail. It took me a minute to figure out that I had just completed 25% of the PCT (Mile 665).

I struggled up the last 800 foot climb before dropping down the last two miles to the next water source at Spanish Needle Creek.

Tomorrow’s going to be a challenging day – hopefully my legs will respond.

Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Day 20: Back on the Trail #3

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