June 30, 2016 – 11 miles
3,600 feet elevation gain
Our trip started out just perfect as we got to Bishop at 8:30 to grab our permit before heading to breakfast and the trail. Things started to go south from there. The ranger informed us we couldn’t use our original plan due to trail quota even though their system let me register it that way. We were able to make corrections but it meant we were in for a longer first day that would also require a hitch (hitchhiking).
We grabbed breakfast at Schat’s Bakery and were at the trail ready to go by 11:00. The start was a little later as I dropped Amy at the trailhead, then went and parked the car at our exit point. I then walked back to Amy (2.5 miles). Now we were ready.
The trail along Lake Sabrina was great, smooth and flat. That didn’t last long! Once we got to the end of the lake up we went, and when I say up I mean “UP”. The trail felt like it was going straight up the mountain even with switchbacks. We got to Lake Geoge at 1:00. We found a flat spot on a rock in the wind (helped keep the bloodthirsty mosquitos at bay) and enjoyed lunch. Knowing we still had another 5 miles to go we took off. Wow again straight up hill 800 feet in deep sand. Neither of us enjoyed this. Now it was down 2,600 feet to the road.
We got to the road at 5:00 and were praying to get a hitch so we could skip the 3 mile road walk that would add to our day. With each car we saw our hopes would rise and then crushed as people zoomed past at what felt like was warp speed. Our emotions took a hit as the reality of road walking set in. Then we saw a car approach from the opposite direction and slow down. It was an older couple who had past us earlier. They asked if we still wanted a ride. We felt like kids on Christmas morning as we emphatically said yes!! We jumped in and were carried away at lightening speed. We couldn’t believe how far this road walk would have been which made us that more thankful. It’s such an awesome feeling knowing there are people still willing to go out of their way to help strangers!
We were at Bishop Pass trailhead at 5:30 and still had 1.5 miles to go up hill. We made it to Lake Hurd at 6:30. We cooked up our salmon pasta and rested our weary legs and set up camp. The mosquitos are out in full force but we will both sleep well tonight. We are signing off at hiker midnight (9:00).
Thanks for reading! Brian