9 miles with friends on our way back to the PCT

The day had come when we had to say goodbye to our kiddos and the amazing time we had in Mammoth. Of course we already knew this, but being away from Maddie & Max always makes it more clear…these are two great people. Fun, witty, smart, and always so entertaining! So this made leaving pretty darn hard for us, plus Rich & Joanne’s house was beyond comfy! But we also missed being on the trail and were excited to continue our journey together. Even though it’s always hard for us to say goodbye to the kids, it was a little easier today because we were joined on the trail with our friends Joanne, Traci, Matt and Craig. Traci and Craig had never backpacked before so it was fun talking about what they needed and didn’t need in their pack before we left. The kids dropped us off 2 miles from the trailhead (because the road is still closed) at 10:00am since we only planned on walking 9 miles today.

Link and I had just walked this exact trail a few days ago, but so much of the snow had already melted. Almost all the switchbacks before Duck Pass were clear! Being able to chat with so many people made the miles fly by and we were to the Duck Lake/Pika Lake junction in no time!

It was just a little over a mile to get to Pika Lake where we found a great spot to camp that would hold 4 tents. It was only 3:00, but thank goodness we got there early because we have seen at least 3 other groups of Backpackers looking for spots since we set up.

Since we had some time, Link had the camera take a time lapse while we set up the tent/sleeping pad…fairly entertaining, and seems so darn fast this way!

5 of us had gotten the biggest, tastiest burritos from Roberto’s in Mammoth to bring with us for dinner tonight. It really hit the spot and I downed my entire burrito with no problem!

We all sat around and chatted after dinner, following the sunshine around to stay warm, but were in our tents by 8:30 since it got cold fast! There were no mosquitos which allowed us to hang out outside the tents, thank goodness! It was so fun being with the 4 of them today, but tomorrow Link and I will be back on our own since we will be rejoining the PCT.

Some exciting things happened today: I wore my new hiking shirt (my 3rd one, the other 2 just had issues!) and I LOVE it so far. The Capilene material is super soft and I can barely feel it on my skin! Also used the new schnozel to blow up the new and improved sleeping pad that ExPed sent us for FREE, and it is LIFE CHANGING! Literally only took me 2 pillows of air to fill up each side…it was taking up to 15 per side before! And lastly, since Link washed the quilt, it is super lofty and soft…can’t wait to see if it’s warmer tonight. As always, thanks so much for following along! Double Down