Day 63 Mile 1010.2 – 1021.8
Elevation: ascent 2,381 ft, descent 3,030 ft
Today is Fathers Day’s, so let me extend a warm wish to all of the fathers out there. The only thing I would change about today would be being able to spend today with our kids. I am extremely proud of both of them and they make me so happy. I hope that I taught them that you have to work hard to reach your goals in life. Nothing is handed to you and I am reminded of that each day on the trail out here. I know they both understand why Double Down and I are out here for this crazy adventure even if this isn’t their calling right now. Their support has really helped make this adventure possible for us.
This morning the alarm was set to go off early as we were heading to Sonora Pass and a resupply, whoop whoop. This meant food and the possibility of a shower and laundry. The magical trees around us blocked almost all of the wind last night. Even this morning when we rounded the trees heading for the trail we went from complete calm to a strong cold wind. We were very thankful for the great protection we had. However the cold wind had both of us wearing our down jackets and gloves.
Before we could get a half of a mile into our day we found cell service. This was great as we needed to finish up a few things on the blog and take care of a few other items. We could try and wait for Kennedy Meadows North (Kennedy Meadows Pack Station and Resort) but we wanted to be able to spend time with friends who were coming to pick us up for the resupply. So we sat above a gorgeous lake and did our tasks in the cold wind. Could be worse places to have to do some personal housekeeping 🤣.
Amy and two of her friends, Michelle and Emily, were coming to pick us up at Sonora Pass, then shuttle us to resupply. They were also planning to hike in with us to camp for the night. So off we went hiking the almost 7 miles down through some very unique and beautiful landscape. The trail undulated along volcanic peaks all morning. The red and almost black rock with snow still hanging on made for some fantastic pictures. We both even found good enough cell service to call our fathers and wish them Happy Fathers Day!!
As we neared Sonora Pass we saw Amy, Michelle and Emily hiking towards us. As we greeted them Amy pulled out some of her famous home made chocolate chip cookies that Emily was carrying. Those cookies tasted SO GOOD and I think both Double Down and I devoured about 4 right on the spot. We then made it the last 3/4 of a mile to their cars and headed down the road to Kennedy Meadows.
Kennedy Meadows was buzzing with activity and this took us a bit to adjust to as the trail has provided us with such solitude. I went in and got our resupply box, paid for laundry and showers. The resort has a special place for PCT hikers, out back so that our trail stench doesn’t scare off their customers.
We threw in our laundry and headed for the showers. These showers were definitely an upgrade from WeeVille and Kennedy Meadows South but they had some very interesting hygiene products 😳. Now that we felt cleaner it was time to order breakfast while Amy, Emily and Michelle went off for a horseback ride. Double Down organized our resupply which is only going to be five days. Yahoo only five days worth of food. Oh yeah one other perk of having Amy come out to hike with us was that she was going to take our Bear Canisters home for us. Kennedy Meadows North is the official mark that PCT hikers can jettison these large heavy containers that we have had to carry for the last 316 miles. Losing 3.5 pounds never felt so GOOD!! While we were waiting for the girls to get back from horseback riding we ran into Shortcut, Finesse, Skytree and a new hiker Jeff that we hadn’t met yet. They all were arriving at Kennedy Meadows but were planning on staying the night before heading back to the trail.
After the girls got back from their ride we all packed up our backpacks locked them in the car and headed to the restaurant for one last meal. It was great getting to know them better over a tasty meal we didn’t have to prepare. Most of the people at the resort were very friendly but definitely not catering to PCT hikers. We paid for WiFi so Double Down could check emails. Well she never was able to pull one email up over the four hour period we were there. Also the charging station they gave us to power up our electronics I swear was only operating at 50% capacity because nothing was charging very well.
We finally left the resort and headed back to the trail around 3:00. Packs were on and we were off hiking by 3:30. Double Down and I found ourselves providing some guidance and advice on backpacking to the girls joining us as they were all relatively new to this. The trail was taking us up and over a ridge and they all did a great job with this especially at elevation. We found a nice campsite that fit all three of our tents early enough that we were able to sit around and enjoy each other’s company. I think we all will sleep well tonight as we are being lulled to sleep by a nearby stream.
Thanks for following along! Link
We also asked Amy if she should like to contribute to our blog today to get a different perspective of life on the PCT. Here are her thoughts on the day.
Hi everyone. I was so hoping the opportunity would present itself to join Link and Double Down for some hiking on the PCT, and when Sonora Pass came up, I jumped right on it, and am so grateful for the experience. Disclosure, I’ve never backpacked into a campsite before so I am a complete novice. Double Down and Link couldn’t have been more gracious and encouraging. I was joined by my two friends, Emily and Michelle. We picked up Double Down and Link at Sonora Pass and brought them down to Kennedy Meadows to resupply and enjoy a shower. Watching them sort through the week’s necessities, organize and find a spot for everything was impressive. We made it back to the PCT at Sonora Pass and onto the trail at 3:30 and proceeded to climb straight up for 2.5 miles. I’ve been reading about their ascents and descents and thinking to myself, oh wow, that seems hard – well, it is, but it’s also exhilarating! The beautiful views, company, physical exertion, and absolute thrill of getting to the top of a pass is just so amazing.Once we started our descent, we learned quickly about snow melt, snow bridges, not to step on anything with water running beneath it, wet shoes. At one point, snow melt was challenging, so Link led us through a brief bushwhacking adventure to avoid the snow. I couldn’t see the trail most of the time and was a little nervous about getting back to our car the next day, but Link assured me that it would be easier going up, and he was so right.We made it to our campsite at 6:30 – we were aiming for a campsite a little further away, but Link and Double Down sensed our exhaustion and graciously found us a place to call home for the night a mile closer. So educational watching Link and Double Down work together to divide and conquer tasks. We spent a nice evening chatting and sharing dinner and getting tips from the pros. I got out of the tent in the middle of the night, and oh my gosh, the stars. It was breathtaking. After breaking down our tent in the morning and coffee, we bid farewell to our friends as they headed off for a 20 mile day. We made it out safely and all walked away super inspired and with an appreciation of what nature can do for your soul – Emily is even planning on hiking the John Muir trail perhaps this summer!