Exit Light

A fantastic day.  We both woke up feeling refreshed and hit the trail.  Other than the first 1.5 miles of climbing, we knew we had a cruisey day ahead of us.  We were right.

After the climb, we dropped into a broad canyon and worked our way to the high end.  It was broad meadow after broad meadow.  Jen set a pace that would have had us close to 11 miles by noon.  But hunger and a nice stream beckoned.

Within minutes of setting down our packs, I was in the stream, refreshed by the ice-cold water. Jen had her lunch and then we napped.  Perfect for a strong follow-up to a good morning.

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Looking back at Yosemite National Park right after we exited the north park boundary.

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Then we ran, OK walked, across this little marker.

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It’s just a bit crazy to wrap our brains around that.  One thousand miles of continuous footsteps.

Day 86 – 20 / 1,003

Our first day out of Yosemite was quite an experience. Straight out the gate we climbed a couple of thousand feet to above the timberline, saw some of the most astounding landscapes, raced thunderstorms for hours while totally exposed, had a surprise afternoon sugar-laden snack, then spent the rest of the afternoon racing thunderstorms and losing.

Climbing above the timberline.

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A nice overview of Leavitt Lake.

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A look back at some of the terrain we had covered quickly as thunderstorms chased us.  We hiked along the same elevation for quite a while.  No trees grew at this elevation and the rocks were mostly scree, so there wasn’t any shelter.  This notch in a sawtooth ridge was our pass that finally let us descend a few hundred feet and get some shelter while we had lunch.

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The terrain through this stretch was, for me, the most astounding of our trip so far. Unfortunately the battery in the phone was almost dead (down to 6%), so I couldn’t take more pictures. You’ll have to take my word on the beauty, at least until I return with my camera kit.

For those inclined to look for yourself, park at the Sonora Pass parking area, then head south on the PCT.  To make it a nice loop, take the Leavitt Lake trail from the PCT.  You could probably make it a long day hike, but to really appreciate it, make it an overnighter.

At Sonora Pass we ran across Craig, the Sonora Pass Resupply guy.  He had a truck full of food, snacks and a station to recharge phones.  It was a nice break after hours of being chased by storms.

But it wasn’t long before we were back in the thick of it.

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It didn’t stop raining and hailing until right before sunset, when we got to camp.  Being in a narrow canyon, we knew we would be in for a damp night.
Day 87 – 20 / 1,023

Please helps us help the PCT Association as they work to protect and maintain this precious resource: http://tinyurl.com/le5cu9j

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5 thoughts on “Exit Light”

  1. I drove the Sonora Pass road for the first time last week as I dropped a young couple off who were hitching out of Bridgeport. They said it was their favorite also. I definitely will go back in future to hike. Thanks for recommendation!

  2. I have really enjoyed following you two on your blog and on Instagram. I’m @laurenelha. Congrats on 1000 miles! I hope to hike the PCT in the next couple years as well. When you get to the Elk Lake thru Lava Lake areas in Oregon, I would be happy to provide you two with a ride, a warm shower, a bed to sleep in, an REI run, etc. I live in Bend. I would love to meet you, and I really hope this doesn’t seem creepy, lol!
    -Lauren

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