Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pacific Crest Trail 2009 ~ Part 14

Yosemite is filled with intricately carved granitic domes and peaks.  We could smell a fire on the gentle winds that was scortching the lower elevations.  Fire is often a problem PCT hikers have to face as they begin traveling into the dry summer weather.  In some years, hikers have to skip entire sections because of trail closures issued by the Forest Service.

Crossing creeks and rivers doubles for cleaning one's socks and shoes, or sandals, in my case.

Dorothy Lake Pass is seen ahead which is the northeastern border of Yosemite National Park.

Just after Dorothy Lake we will no longer be required to carry our mandated bear cannisters.  We were never checked for our thru hikers permit either for the entire length of this 2,700 mile trail.

Entering Toiyabe National Forest we make our way to our last big snow crossing near Sonora Pass.

This area is the northern end of the High Sierra's, where the elevation typically drops from 10 and 11,000 feet to 8 and 9,000 feet.  The snow will only be patchy for the next hundred miles or so till it entirely disappears for the rest of the  summer season.

We saw several deer up this high running ahead of us on the trail.  They seemed to have the diet of a mountain goat at these elevations with sparse vegetation.

As you can see, after Kennedy Lake the snow starts tapering off dramaticly.  Even the afternoon thunderstorms would begin to vanish.

The contrast of seeing and traveling through snow everyday will be missed.  I truly love these high mountains at this time of year.

Looking back into Yosemite National Park for the last time, we enter into a world of higher mileage hiking days with less elevation losses and gains.  We are still on top of the world, because we are in the best possible endurance shape that our bodies could actually feel.

We can now see our route for hundreds of miles to come with no obstructions. At Sonora Pass there were several hikers waiting to go into Bridgeport for a hotel and to resupply.  A sister of one of the hikers had rented a car and brought up goodies to the pass to share with kindred spirits.

Looking back at Sonora Pass, you can see the snow bowl we slid down from on our butts.  For a couple of hours as we rested at the pass, we could see each hiker sledding their way down as we each said good bye to the High Sierra's in a fun and flowing unique way.


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