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.


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


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


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.


A nice overview of Leavitt Lake.


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.


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.


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


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!

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