PCT 2007 Day 82
Day 82 / 6-15-07 Cowboy Camp 9980′
Piute Pass Trail – Bear Ridge Trail Junction
18.2 miles; 867.8 (45.6) total miles; 2759.8 trip miles
70’s, sunny hot
Marmot count is 41
Deer count is 39
Pika count is 2
Bear count is 0
!!!!Today is my babys Birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sam!!!!
Last night the mosquitoes never left my bug net. They were still there in the AM. I slept well though. It was hot enough that I slept without a hat and second shirt.
We were hiking by 6 AM and the trail was easy for the first 1.8 miles then we had a slight climb for 1.7. At the second junction the trail went up in earnest. We had a tough 2.2 miles of climbing to Senger Creek then the climbing got easier. The Sally Keyes Lakes were very pretty and had some nice size trout. I caught 3 beauties in the lower lake.
The mosquitoes were unbelievable from about half way up to the lakes. At the lakes they were deadly. You couldn’t stop moving. Regular bug spray doesn’t even phase them!
While fishing Wounded Knee and Ed caught up and we decided to move on to Heart Lake in hopes the bugs would be less higher up. I packed and almost forgot my camera which I left on the ground.
On the way to the lake, I spooked a mother grouse and saw only one chick. I also saw a toad further up the trail. Once to the lake Wounded Knee said he’d boil a fish if I caught one. I started to get my gear out and realized I left my reel .8 of a mile back at the lower Sally Keyes Lake. I treated my water so it would be ready upon my return and took off at speed down the hill for my reel. It was right where I thought it was. I grabbed it and instantly took off back up the way I came. I covered the return in 14 minutes.
After all that I only caught one fish and it was too small. We had lunch and hung out a while. Quake, a southbound JMT (John Muir Trail), came by and chatted a while. We packed up after a short lunch, due to no fish and shade.
The climb over Selden Pass was easy but the view, as usual, was incredible. We descended for the next 6 miles. We passed Marie Lake, which was studded with islands. Then we passed along the side of Rosemarie Meadow, again a sight to see. Next up was the fording of Bear Creek, which was supposed to be one of the worst. It was no harder than Evolution Creek. The mosquitoes were the hardest part. They ate you alive while you took off your shoes and again while putting the back on.
We descended along Bear Creek getting views of beautiful waterfalls the whole way. Finally we had to climb 1.6 miles to camp at the Bear Ridge Junction. I stopped during the 1.6 since the junction didn’t appear to have water but both Wounded Knee and Ed said the guide book shows water and it hasn’t been wrong. It was wrong. The climb up was super tough and had tons of streams. I got to the top to find Ed sitting there shaking his head. We would have to hike downhill half a mile to a spring.
We cooked and then had a nice fire in hopes it would drive some of the mosquitoes away. I turned in at 9 and Ed tended the fire for a while longer. Wounded Knee went to his tent right after he finished eating.
Tomorrow we take the ferry to Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR) and then have to hitch to Mono Hot Spring for our packages.
Scatman 2011- This day was yes, amazing, despite the bugs and forgetting my fishing reel. I know I already said it but every view is amazing and you don’t think it can get any better or continue but it does. This is why the Sierra are my favorite part of the trip. Marie Lake was a sight to see. Despite having to hike so far for water we had a great camp spot which was nice and soft.