Day 147: Finally…the Sierras

Date: September 8, 2017
Miles: 7.6 miles from Onion Valley trailhead to the PCT; 788.9 – 802.6

It took less than a week for my body to forget what it’s like to be on trail. I was sluggish and my legs and my lungs objected to going over both Kearsarge Pass and Glen Pass. I wasn’t too tired to notice the difference in the scenery between June and now, though…so much less snow!

Kearsarge in June…
…and Kearsarge in September.

Once we reached the PCT, I started feeling better and I hiked happily through the amazing scenery.  We stopped at the top of Glen Pass to watch a pack train go over. I held my breath as the horses navigated steep and narrow rock path and a stretch of snow. One of the riders said he has done a lot of scary things in his life, and that was the worst.  You can watch my video of it here.

The view North from Glen Pass.

The scenery was amazing enough to make me forget most of the pain, however. I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of Rae Lakes, and it brought a few tears to my eyes. The Painted Lady and Fin Dome rose over us like royalty, and the Woods Creek waterslide slipped and jumped over smooth rock waves until it tumbled underneath a grand and wobbly wooden suspension bridge that would only carry one person at a time.

Rae Lakes with Painted Lady on the left and Fin Dome on the right.
Woods Creek suspension bridge.

We hiked under pink and orange swirling clouds to the soft rumble of a far off thunderstorm on into the night to find a campsite close to Pinchot Pass.  We camped with a bunch of John Muir Trail hikers who invited us to hang out with them by their campfire.  We had dinner and shared stories until it was time to head to our tents for the night.

Heading up to Kearsarge Pass from Onion Valley.

It was a little windy.

Woods creek waterslide.