Day 54 (Pete)

Today was such a long day its difficult to remember if this morning was yesterday or today. Its really difficult to convey what goes into one of one days. To start, we do a lot of exercise. For the first time in my life, I can have a great day, a happy day, a horrible day, a boring day, and a white knuckle thrilling day all complete in their aspects and all in the same twenty four hours.

We forded Mono Creek early on. Dyl did it naked from the waist down. No sense getting those shorts wet. While drying off and eating breakfast Dyl pulled his nose out of the map, “I think I am going to propose an alternate route.” That sparked my interest surely. There is a trail, “Fish Creek Trail,” that gets to Red’s Meadow in the same distance yet manages to avoid a roller coaster of climbs and descents and more than likely plenty of slogging. I was eagerly ready to concur out of sheer laziness and contempt for the snow. Dyl reminded me that he had lost his sunglasses on an earlier ford that morning. Staying out of the snow was important. “Oh… Yea. Definitely we should take the other trail. Otherwise you could go snow-blind.”

There are PCT purists. People that would never dare stray off onto another trail. It’s a dogmatic approach. Our purpose is to put one foot in front of the other all the way from Mexico to Canada. The PCT is really followed by us because it travels the entire distance through amazing country. Who wants to walk the whole way up Interstate 5 after all.

Unfortunately, for Dyl’s eyes, there was no way around Silver Pass. It normally wouldn’t have been much of an obstacle. There was maybe four miles of snow. Without eye protection, Dylan had to squint his eyes to the point that he could barely make out my foot prints. It made the trek a tense one. I was not used to navigating through the lakes and snow fields yet was forced to break trail. My principle mistake came on the way down. After realizing we had veered onto the wrong drainage we corrected by cutting north. Coming out onto a band of cliffs we could see the trail way across the canyon cutting down midway on the far wall. Dyl said he thought it would be faster to back track all the way around to the canyons mouth. I thought we could sneak it by bombing down a long steep snow field that briefly interrupted the cliff band. Dyl, his eyes burning, conceded. It ended up being a completely ecstatic seven hundred foot glissade, incredibly fun, right down, more or less, to the trail. “Pete makes the call.” We only imagined those not dumb enough to do such a poor navigating jog trudging the trail looking across jealously at our tracks. The fun way down.

Fish Creek Trail did drop us out of the snow. It had all melted, at that elevation, into a swollen raging current. Needless to say, we got wet on our first two fords of it. The first we both did chest dives two feet from shore. Dyl’s was the near shore, mine was the far. Dyl more or less swam thirty feet on the second with a frustrated survival grimace the likes of wish I have never seen. Fish Creek trail also swings by some hot springs which we burned trail to get to. They are near, though it is dark. A nice hot bath in the morning; so, life is good. We pass through Red’s Meadow mid-day tomorrow. There is a store there so we have been hungrily eating all the rations remaining for two more days to Yosemite. My grocery bill hasn’t really gone down much on this hike. The general sentiment being, “I’d rather pay than starve.”

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