Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wild Traffic Jam On the PCT

I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to support this, but judging by all the Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers I saw while backpacking on the PCT from Edison Lake to Florence Lake in the Sierra Mountains, the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, has inspired an awful lot of people to take off for five months and walk from Mexico to Canada. For most of the 40 miles I hiked, they streamed up the trail, walking south-to-north while I and a friend, Allan, went north-to-south. Allan has been going on annual John Muir Trail trips, gradually piecing together the entire route a few miles at a time. And in this case, the PCT and JMT followed the same trail. According to him, he usually sees more JMT hikers, but this year, at least, the adventure to be on is the PCT. Of course, if you were just looking at my pictures, you would think we had the mountains all to our own. Trust me, for every picture here, some PCT hiker had just passed by or was about to blast through.

Traditional trailhead picture taken by my wife, Gloria.

Hiking by Edison Lake.
Mono Creek where we camped on the first night.
Climbing Bear Ridge.

Allan coming up the Bear Ridge trail.

The view south (more or less) from Bear Ridge.

A relic of days past: a PCT emblem nailed to a tree. Just don't see those anymore.

Allan crossing a creek that feeds into Bear Creek.
A meadow on the climb from Bear Creek to Marie Lakes.
Our camp at Marie Lakes.

My tent under the stars at Marie Lakes.

Marie Lakes in the morning.

Selden Pass, the highest point on our trip at 10,800'.
Passing Heart Lake which is just below Selden Pass.
Looking down to Sallie Keyes Lakes.

Yours truly hanging out at Sallie Keyes Lake where we spent the third day.

Evening scene at Sallie Keyes Lake.

Allan passing a trail sign.

Meadow scene along the trail that took us from the PCT/JMT to Florence Lake.

South Fork of the San Joaquin River, our last camp.

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