We slept loooong and then had a breakfast that took forever – Kristians cooked himself a fancy meal of mushrooms and veggies while I waited for him. We had lots of stuff to take care of: do our resupply, pack & order things, go to post office, go to gear store & pharmacy.
After Kristians was finally done we got our resupply done and went by the gear store where Kristians hot a new drybag as his packliner and a new buckle (he recently fell and somehow the buckle on the hipbelt of his Osprey broke so he just tied the adjustment laces to hold the pack on his hips).
The weather in Mammoth was cloudy and rainy and it didn’t look good for the upcoming days either. But we had an appointment to make in Echo Lake/South Lake Tahoe so we couldn’t afford more than 1 zero. Friends from Europe will meet us there and we’ll have ourselves a little road trip!
Anyway, we got back to James’ place and ate and rested and packed our resupply and in the evening cooked another dinner. Later in the jacuzzi I finally managed to find the leak in my matrass – but just so you know I still haven’t managed to stop the leak by now despite the patches.
We ended the evening by going to bed earlier because we’d have to get up earlier the next day. Because we didn’t make it to the post office today we’d need to go by there the next morning.
On a sidenote: some days ago I did a glissade on some icy snow and felt that it hurt my tailbone area. The day before I slipped on snow during a downhill and hit the tailbone area again. By the time we reached Mammoth this trauma to the area had developed into a pilonidal cyst (a condition I had had before) but I really didn’t want to go off trail so I resorted to getting some tea tree oil instead and hiking the upcoming short section with Kristians. If it’ll get worse by then I’ll have to skip a section and get to the doctor – worse case: I’d have to get surgery and be off trail for long.
We had another lovely breakfast and then James kindly offered to drive us to the post office, pharmacy and finally back to the trailhead. In the post office we met about 10 hikers who had just come from Bishop and were planning to skip the Sierras and go up north instead; they were sending their bear boxes and winter gear away.
The weather was pretty cloudy and gray as we reached the trailhead. James offered us to stay another night to wait out the weather but we really wanted to get going. So we said thanks to James and hugged and set off into the relatively unwelcoming gray forest.
The hike back onto the PCT felt easier than it had compared to when we had come out but that might just be because we were feeling more fresh. There was still a lot of route finding, postholing and very wet feet. The forest was in general gray, wet and a bit creepy – I felt the whole day that a bear would come around a corner at any moment. But it never did.
Once we reached the Red’s Meadow area we were looking forward to seeing the Devil’s Postpile National Monument from across the river but…all we saw were some faint lines behind a cloud of fog. Great!
After some hours, though, it started to clear up a bit and we could even see some sunlight on the hillsides and some blue sky. We decided to have a shorter day and camp at the campground close to the bridge at North Fork San Joaquin River – a total of about 9 trail miles. To our surprise we found Spacejam there, already having made a fire and ready to have dinner. So we set up our camp abd had a nice evening around the fire, trying to dry our socks and shoes.