PCT 2007 Day 87
Day 87 / 6-20-07 Tarp Tent 9250′
Tuolumne Meadows CG – Smedberg Lake
26.2 miles; 968.9 (48.4) total miles; 2858.9 trip miles
Deer count is 55
Marmot count is 47
Pika count is 2
Bear count is 0
Today it was tit for tat, as I saw a deer, then a marmot, a deer, then a marmot. Then the deer made another bold late day move and increased their numbers by 5, as a pack of does came up the pass at dinner.
I slept well last night but didn’t really feel like getting up. I finally did and had breakfast around 5:30. I packed up all 7 days of food and hoisted my heavy pack. I called home one more time to see if we forgot anything from last night’s logistics meeting.
I made my way back to the trail and attempted to follow the PCT through the park. I finally had to stop and get out my guide to be sure of the way. Even though I did, I still questioned if I was going the right way. I finally ran into Back Track and Silver just as I caught up to a pack train of mules and one horse.
The three of us hiked together and passed Yogi, Diesel, and Hammer on a bridge just south of some beautiful falls. We stopped for a snack just before a large meadow. The meadows up here are so beautiful. They always have a stream running through them and lots of little pines. You just expect a moose to walk out of the woods any minute.
Diesel caught us as we left the meadow and the four of us hiked until we hit a stream where he stopped for water. We hiked on for a while and then had lunch next to a small creek. Unfortunately for us there was a killer climb right after our lunch spot. My legs and stomach fought over my blood supply the whole way up. I felt pretty tired on the climbs all day.
We passed Miller Lake, which was very picturesque. Next we hit a low gap, before descending to another meadow where we took a break. At this point we had already done 20 miles and it was only 3:30 PM. We hung out a bit then moved on to the next climb up Benson Pass.
We started at 8,510′ and had to ascend to 10,140′. I felt okay on the lower portion of the climb but after 2 miles I was hurting big time. I had to dig deep to stay with the group. We finally stopped 1.2 miles from the top and I got some water so I could cook on top of the pass. We passed two southbound hikers on the way up and when I got to the top, I saw a marmot. We cooked dinner and as I was going to take some pictures, I saw 5 doe coming up the trail from the south as we did. Silver came over to see them but my talking spooked them.
We moved on 2 more miles so we could do a marathon distance and descended to the south shore on Smedberg Lake. The mosquitoes were unbelievable. I put on my puffy jacket, bug gloves and head net. Even though the bugs were really bad, I still went down to the lake to wash up. There is a lot of fish in this lake because they were jumping clear out of the water. We hung our extra food just in case. Bears are still an issue for a few days. Tomorrow is looking like another tough day. I hope I sleep well and feel rested in the AM.
Scatman 2011- I hadn’t planned on hiking with anyone but I ended up with Silver and Back Track. Little did I know we would hike together for two weeks. It seemed like much longer at the time. We you spend ever day and with someone I guess it usually does feel longer.
The mountain were smaller and less rugged but the views were just as nice. It was clear the mosquitoes were going to be an issue right away. I was sad to leave the Sierra but knew I had to keep moving north if I wanted to reach Canada.
Get out there!