PCT Day 72-73

Day 72

Today we had to get back on the trail, but it’s always slightly difficult to leave town with all its comforts so we only got ready to hitch out at around 10 o’clock.

The town of Bridgeport is quite a small one and it took us about 15 minutes to hitch-walk to the very end of it. No luck so far so we just sat there next to the road, trying to get a ride. SpaceJam even went across the street to the gas station to ask people around if they could give us a ride. About 10-15 minutes later a car stopped and a nice lady gave us a ride until the junction where we would then need to hitch another ride on the mountain road leading to Sonora pass, where we had left off.

Even though the mountain road looked pretty deserted we got lucky and a car stopped in a few minutes. Unfortunately the person could only drive us a few miles as he was going to the army base that was right there. A few miles is still better than nothing so we just hopped in. That’s when SpaceJam realized that he had forgotten his hiking pole in the previous car. Luckily he had managed to exchange Instagrams with the lady who drove us, so he messaged her and she responded right away and would bring the pole back. Well, SpaceJam jumped out to wait and told us not to wait so we drove off.

I got about a 10 minute ride and the the guy let me out at the road gate and turned back to go to the base which was pretty much right there. I was sitting there for about 20 minutes and only a handful of cars passed me, none of which stopped. I knew that if someone would stop then SpaceJam would already be in the car as he was at the beginning of the road. A few minutes later he got dropped off by a marines sniper trainer who was also only going to the base. Now we were both just standing on the lonley road trying to get a ride somehow.

The place where we were standing had a junction with a dirt road and there was suddenly a car coming out from there so we decided to try and hitch that car – amazingly it worked.

Another nice lady stopped and said that she could drive us a few miles as she is only going a bit further from there. And again a few miles is better than no miles so we hopped in, the back of the car was full of different camping gear so SpaceJam just sat on my lap in the front seat. As we started to talk more and explained our situation, the lady just said that she will take us all the way to the trailhead, lucky again!

It was 12:30 when we started to finally hike, the sun was blazing hot and we kind of felt sluggish. Additionally, there was still plenty of snow on the trail so postholing made the whole thing even more slow for us. We took many breaks to just sit in the shade and drink water.

We were still making progress, it just wasn’t a very fast one. Once the sun started to go down and we had managed to get to the forest with some nice shade and slightly less snow it was simply a beautiful hike. The weather was perfect, the nature around us was so vivid and large cliffs on the opposite side of the valley made the hike truly enjoyable.

We started going up again and we both kind of felt slightly empty – our legs weren’t firing. So once we got to the top SpaceJam threw the towel in and said let’s stay here. It was kind of a nice place on a small saddle right next to the trail junction and it luckily had some flat spots to settle for a night. We had done only 12 miles (20km) that day and felt done.

If we wanted to make it to South Lake Tahoe in 5 days, which is how much food we had brought, we would need to step up our game as it was about 75 miles (120km) away.

Day 73

I woke up at around 6 o’clock from SpaceJam’s rustling around his tarp. We got ready and started the hike before 8. The weather looked just as great as the day before and the terrain remained more or less similar with lots of ups & downs and some snow.

Today we wanted to do a bigger day as yesterday was quite short. However, we weren’t in any rush and took as many breaks as we needed. When we reached the desired lunch location we saw another hiker already having a break there – it was Karma from Sweden. A quick chat and we settled for our break as she was getting ready to leave. We don’t meet many hikers on this section of the trail as most of them have skipped the snowy sections in order to return later when the snow has melted. So it was a nice surprise that there are still some people that take on the challenge.

As it often happens after the lunch break a large ascent is in front of us. It’s because it is nice to have lunch next to a stream, which is often at the bottom of a valley. We started the steepish ascent and I could feel that my legs are kind of empty, but that’s never a stopper.

We managed to get to the top, SpaceJam was there before me and as there for some weird reason was cell service he was just doing internetz. I, however, did not have any, but he shared some so we both just sat there on our phones. The sun was slowly going down and as we were on the saddle the wind picked up slightly. It started to get cold so we got ready to continue.

Even though I wanted to go further SpaceJam convinced me to stay in the campsite just a mile down next to a lake. That added up the distance for the day a grand total of 15 miles (24km). Not as far as we had hoped to get but hey, we can always do a bigger day tomorrow, right?

Our campsite was beautiful, right next to a small lake with snowy mountains in the background and a valley falling down right after the lake. The weather was beautiful and SpaceJam decided he wants to save his gas and cook dinner on the fire. Fire always makes the evening cozier, so for the rest of the evening we just enjoyed the sunset and the fire in our beautiful campsite.

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