Scott and Rachel's Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike journal: Sonora Pass, Mile 1013, Jun 25

Kennedy Meadows Resort Campground - It had been a good day and a half off at Tuolumne Meadows. We hung out with the Miller Family in Oakhurst and did a whole lot of relaxing. Both nights that we were there, we managed to sleep in, not really getting out of bed until 9 AM, an unheard of time for us. It was shear luxury. While in town, we also managed to take care of a couple errands, like getting Rachel some new sandals and replacing the broken tip of Scott's trekking pole. With those things attended to, and only a two day journal segment to get completed, we had lots of time on our hands to rest up, and that we did.

As a matter of fact, we took it so easy that on the morning of the 20th (our second morning there) we didn't bound out of bed and rush back to the trail for an early start, but we lounged some more with the good company, and then we left Oakhurst for the two hour drive back up to Tuolumne just before 1 PM. By the time we got back up to the Meadows, had a burger each with Doug and his son Patrick, said our good-byes, and eventually started hiking down the trail, it was about 4 PM.

We had bumped into Simon and Liz (two hikers from the U.K. who we met in Kennedy Meadows) at the cafe and they told us that they were staying on another night in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, and they invited us to join them. While we were tempted, we declined their offer and decided to put in a few miles to at least get us back on the trail. We set our sights on making it 6 miles up the trail to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp.

We started out on the trail, walking along a closed dirt road for the first mile or so, until we finally hit "trail". We made our way along, paralleling the Tuolumne River as it snaked its way through the lush meadows while we walked on the huge slabs of glacially polished granite. The walk was very pleasant for a first day back on the trail as it was quite level, a well established trail, and it was short (being that our packs are heavy again, the later factor was the most important). The only draw back about the hike was that the mosquitoes were out in force again, swarming around us every time we stopped to admire the beautiful scenery. While we had purchased insect repellant in Oakhurst, we didn't bother to apply it today as we knew we were only going a few short miles, but in hind sight, we should have applied it because we really didn't stop to admire Tuolumne Falls and White Cascade falls like we would have liked to.

We arrived at Glen Aulin Camp and to our dismay we found it crowded with non-thru-hikers. There were kids running around, and a large group crowding around a camp fire, and we just got the feeling that we were not in for a quiet night. We have really been spoiled hiking through the backcountry where we may be the only hikers within a couple of miles, so it was a bit of a shock for us to pull into this camp that is within such easy reach of the highway, to find the numbered sites just about on top of each other. Fortunately, however, there were thirty sites spread out over three different areas, and by hiking uphill to the furthest area we were able to get away from the throngs of people and find a quieter location on a ridge overlooking Conness Creek. We set up our tent and settled in for a quiet dinner and a good nights rest.

We broke down camp and then hiked down to the bear box to reclaim our food. We met a couple of weekenders down there while we were getting our stuff out and they told us that while they had not seen any bears in camp there were reports that a bear came rummaging through four times the previous night. With that in mind, and the knowledge that Simon and Liz had had a visit from a bear a few nights previously while they had been camping up by Donohue Pass, we left the camp, thankful for the bear box and hopeful that we will not encounter any bears after our food. Simon and Liz don't hike with a bear canister, but they do have the Ursack Ultra (a double Ursack) and they reported that the bear had managed to put a small puncture hole in the bag after having his way with it for about five minutes before they managed to scare him off. With these things in mind, we set off out of camp much more aware than usual that we are truly in bear country.

We left camp at our usual time, despite that it was summer solstice, the longest day of the year. While many hikers might have taken full benefit of the long daylight hours, we struggled to get our miles in, and consequently stopped a little earlier than usual. Immediately after rejoining the PCT we began our first 1000-foot climb of the day. While it was gentle in that it was over three miles, it was still a climb first thing in the morning, and we were having a hard time getting going. Once we reached the ridge, we began to drop back down the other side into a long soggy meadow. We made our way through the center of the meadow for some time, struggling to walk within the narrow path that was sunk a foot below the meadow surface. The path was not much wider than our two feet so it required a fair amount of concentration to not trip on the side walls. With the meadow behind us, we began climbing again, this time adding another couple hundred feet to what we had gained previously before dropping 500- feet via some steep switchbacks down into Virginia canyon.

Once we were down in Virginia canyon, we were immediately confronted with two river fords, first McCabe Creek and then Return Creek. We quickly scanned up and down McCabe Creek to see if we would be able to cross the creek without getting wet, but it was evident that the best way across was to ford it right where the trail was. We changed into our sandals and navigated the ford without any problems. Once on the other side, we staying in our sandals as we knew that the crossing of Return Creek was but a hundred yards away. We approached the creek and again looked for another way to cross, but similarly we were disappointed. Return Creek was a little wider, deeper, faster, and much colder than McCabe had been. Scott crossed the creek and turned to watch as Rachel made her attempt, but half way across she faltered. Finding the river so cold that it was extremely painful, she had climbed out onto a rock and sat there trying to pick up the courage to venture back in and to brave the deepest part o f the crossing. It took some coaching from Scott and a lot of whimpering (as well as the realization that she was stuck there unless she got back in the water) before Rachel braved the frigid water and made it the remaining 20 yards to the other side.

Once safely on the other side of the creek and changed back into our shoes again, we began another 1000-foot climb out of Virginia canyon and up to another forested gap. At the top we stopped for a little lunch and we watched the thunder clouds form above us. Back in the direction that we had come the sky was dark and ominous. We could hear the thunder clap off in the distance, and we watched the cloud formations wondering if it was going to shower down on us too. We finished lunch as the wind was picking up and quickly began walking away from the thunder clouds, hoping to get away. As we made our way down towards Miller Lake, it became apparent that the storm was not going to spread to where were where, but it was going to remain centered over what we guessed was the Tuolumne Meadows area.

With one more little forested gap behind us, it wasn't long before we began an 1100-foot descent via a series of tight switchbacks down into another canyon - Matterhorn Canyon. By the time we arrived there, we were exhausted; our knees were aching, our feet were sore, and we were looking at each other asking what was the matter with us that we felt this bad after only 13.8 miles. At that point we had a decision to make. There were campsites just on the other side of the river ford, but after that, the guidebook did not mention any suitable camping for another 6 miles, which included 10,140-foot Benson Pass. We were unsure whether we had it in us to climb another 1500-feet and hike six miles, but it was only 2:45 PM and we felt that it was just too early to stop. We finally made the decision that we would hike on, see how far we got and hope to find some place to camp if we got too tired.

We forded Matterhorn creek without incident from Rachel, and then we were off down the trail. We followed the creek for about a mile before turning northwest, climbing steeply, up along Wilson Creek. Despite the climb, we were finally feeling alright and we passes by a few potential campsites still pressing on. With 600 feet remaining before the summit of Benson Pass, we started up another series of switchbacks before coming out into a high alpine meadow area before the final approach towards the pass. We looked ahead and saw more snow that either of us had wanted, but it appeared that the going would be quite manageable. We ventured on a little further and then we came across an elevated gravelly plateau and all of a sudden our plans changed. We were going to camp and face the remaining few hundred feet of the pass in the morning.

There were a number of reasons for our decision. While we were still feeling alright (amazingly considering how we had been doing all day), we were not particularly in the mood to deal with snow. We also realized that we had about another 2.5-3 miles before reaching Smedberg Lake (the next camping spot talked about in the guidebook) which involved another 1000-feet of punishment on our knees. But, probably the greatest motivator for us to camp was that we would not be in a frequented camp spot thereby significantly reducing our chances of being visited by a bear at night time. In light of Simon and Liz's experience, we decided that this was a big motivator for stopping short. So, the decision was made. We set up camp on the gravelly plateau, enjoyed the last remaining hour of sunlight before it disappeared behind Benson Pass, and then enjoyed a good dinner before securing our Ursack to a nearby tree, gathering an arsenal of fist-sized rocks, and retiring to our sleeping bags.

While we didn't have any visits from bears that night, it wasn't from a lack of being ready and alert for them. Rachel was so worried about an encounter that she tossed and turned all night, looking out of the tent every hour or so to peer at the Ursacks tied to the tree, but they were always there, untouched from where she left them.

Despite the restless nights sleep, we didn't wake up that next morning until 5:40 AM, a full twenty minutes later than our norm. Even being as late as it was, we were slow to get moving as the temperature inside the tent was -3 C, and the inside of the tent fly was covered with ice from our breath and outside condensation freezing throughout the night. We got dressed inside our sleeping bags and then braved the cold morning as we broke down the camp. Once we got moving, it wasn't so bad, but getting started sure was hard.

We started on the trail at about 6:40 AM and we began the remaining half mile climb to the summit of Benson Pass. We encountered some patchy snow both on the approach as well as the descent, but it wasn't as bad as we had feared it might be. Rather than being a summit with a drop off on either side, Benson Pass was actually more like an open knoll with gradual rolling grades. We left the pass with little adieu and began our descent. Once off the knoll portion of the pass we made our way through a pleasant little meadow before the trail took a slightly steeper bend. A few switchbacks took us down through a gully and finally deposited us on the south shore of Smedberg Lake where we stopped for our breakfast of cold cereal.

While we were eat breakfast and enjoying the view of the lake, two hikers came upon us. They had started about ten days later than we had and it sounded like they were pushing for 25 mile days on the average. We chatted for a while and then they pushed on, not to be seen again for the rest of the day.

Upon leaving the lake we faced another short climb up to a gap. The going was tough as it was half covered with snow and the parts that weren't covered were either wet, mucky messes from the run-off, or we were having to scramble over granite rocks and boulders. We undulated up and down for a mile or so, gaining a little, dropping a little, but never walking level, and never having a clear and easy path to follow. By the time we were five miles into the day we looked at each other and couldn't believe that it had taken us 3.5 hours to come that far. As we have often said, sometimes the trail gives up the mileage easily, other times it doesn't, and it was looking like a day when the trail did not give it up easy.

We continued on with our quest, finally starting in on the switchbacks that would eventually drop us 2600-feet below the pass at Benson Lake spur trail. Again, the switchbacks were difficult as they were either covered with snow or were all muddy, but we gradually made our way down. About half way down we arrived at a ford of Smedberg Lake outlet creek. We looked up and down, but there was no fallen log or rocks to cross on so we changed our shoes and made the ford. The guidebook had warned that there were three more fords coming up, but as we got to them we were pleased to find other, drier and less time consuming ways to cross. At last we arrived at Piute Creek and similarly found a few rock that we could hop across. Feeling all proud of ourselves, we continued on down the trail only to come across the real crossing of Piute Creek another 50 yards further. This time we weren't so lucky. Not only was the creek wide, but it was deep. We searched up and down the stream looking for somewhere that we would be able to cross without having to hold our packs above our heads, and at last we settled on a wide fork area. As always, Rachel made Scott test the waters first, and when he was almost all the way across and had only just gotten the very bottom of his shorts wet, she ventured in. It was cold! Scott had made sure not to tell Rachel just how cold it was as he feared that he wouldn't get her across, but it only took a couple of steps for Rachel to figure it out for herself. She made it into the middle of the creek where the water was running the deepest, and then she started be-lining for the far edge. After what seemed like an eternity, we was standing on the far bank, bemoaning the pain in her ankles and feet from the freezing water.

No longer feeling smug, we changed back into our shoes and began a 2 mile, 1400 foot climb out of the drainage. The guidebook described it as "grueling", but we made our way up without too much trouble. It was warm in the sun and we stopped to cool off once with a refreshing drink from a trailside stream, but aside from that we made it to the beautiful boulder-bound lake just on the other side of the gap. We stopped for lunch and even contemplated taking a dip in the relatively warm water, but the wind picked up as we were eating and time began to march on, as did the feeling that we needed to make some more mileage before the day was done. We left our pretty lunch spot and continued to climb through the rocky, gap riddled ridge until we had passed through seven gaps before finally beginning our descent in earnest.

We dropped down to Kerrick Canyon and then began a four mile hike along the creek. We had hoped that the going would get easier, but the trail was not done with us yet. As we were traversing on the north slope of the canyon, we were hiking through snow again, and the trail didn't seem to know if it wanted to go up or down. After a mile or so we had finally lost enough elevation that we were out of the snow, and the trail settled into a steady but gentle descent along the drainage. We hiked apart for much of this stretch as Scott went on ahead while Rachel attended to natures call. Being that our paces are almost the same, it took the better part of three miles for Rachel to catch up, but we both enjoyed the solo hiking for a brief change.

Shortly after we were reunited, we reached the end of our descent down Kerrick Canyon and we were confronted with our third ford of the day. It was another deep one, but thankfully that water was of a tolerable temperature (even as far as Rachel was concerned) and we were able to make the crossing without any issues. Once we were on the other side and all dried off, we began yet another ascent. This time we were only climbing up 800 feet, and we were aiming to camp there. As with the previous climb, the going was good. While uphill is hard work, we defiantly find it easier on the body than descending and we managed to make it up to the gap in hardly any time.

We had decided that we were going to look for a camp spot at the top of the hill rather than dropping the mile back down into the next drainage where bears would probably be more of a problem. The difficulty, however, was not in finding a campsite, but rather in finding one that has not been frequented by other hikers prior to us. It is a general rule that when in bear country, one should try not to camp in established spots because they bears are used to checking these location out on their nightly rounds. We didn't find a non-established spot, but we did take the usual precautions to tie our Ursack to a tree, place the pots with it so that if it is tampered with we will be alerted, place the bear canister a ways away from the tent, and gather a few rocks. Within a few minutes of saying goodnight and trying to go to sleep, we both heard some rustling coming from behind our heads, near where the bear canister was situated. We both sat bolt upright in the tent and peered out of the vestibules to see if we could determine what was going on. Fortunately for us, the intruder was only a deer, and we startled her off as our sleeping bags rustled when we were sitting up.

While we were not bothered by bears at that camp, we were constantly hounded by mosquitoes. They were so bad that Scott actually got out his mosquito head net and put it on every time he was out of the tent. Once the tent was set up, we spent as little time as possible outside of it because there were so many mosquitoes all trying to feed off us. When entering the tent we would dive in and then immediately turn around and zip the door shut behind us, leaving only enough room for our legs to stick out and our arms to reach through the narrow gap at the bottom to unlace and kick off our shoes before quickly zipping up the rest of the door. Even with these great efforts, we still had to go on a mosquito hunt to rid the inside of the tent of any that might wish to make a meal out of us later on. We lay in the tent looking up at the netting all around us, and we were horrified to see how many were longingly sticking their proboscises through the mesh hoping to get a meal. We discovered that if we flick the mesh right where they are sitting, they will be sent careening across the vestibule and we would hear the "tink" of their little bodies hitting the rain fly; the only downfall is that they live to come back again.

The following morning we got up to more mosquitoes. We actually managed to shave fifteen minuets of our usual pack up time because the mosquitoes were so bad and we were rushing to get out on the trail so that we would be moving. When we got up there were a few around, but by the time we were ready to hike, they were everywhere, swarming us again. Actually, if there is one word tat would describe our day that day, it would be Mosquitoes. From the moment we woke up, until the moment we went to sleep, we were hounded incessantly by mosquitoes with only a couple of reprieves.

We left our camp and began the mile long descent down to Stubblefield Canyon where we crossed the creek on a log, and then soon after commenced our next 1000-foot climb to the top of Macomb Ridge pass. We passed through some meadows along the way, and had they not brought with them clouds more mosquitoes, we probably would have stopped from a short break. But in order to avoid being bitten, we moved on and soon began our 500-foot descent down into Tilden Canyon. Here, too, we managed to ford the creek without getting wet, and then we congratulated each other on finally being done with the successive climbs and descents; at last, the trail was going to begin leveling out a bit.

We headed along the trail a little bit further, but by now our stomachs were beginning to grumble. We hadn't had breakfast yet, but we didn't really want to stop because the mosquitoes were so bad. At last we could go no further. We sought out a rocky spot in the sunshine and headed for it, hoping that by being out of the trees (even if it was only by 50 yards) we would get away from some of them. We climbed up onto the rocks and soon realized that we had not managed to outsmart the mosquitoes, but our stomachs were grumbling so loud that we decided to try and live through it. We had mosquito repellant on, but it was only serving to keep them from biting us; they were flying around us very close, sometimes landing and then taking off again in search of an unaffected body part. We ate our cereal, only half enjoying it as we constantly swatted at ourselves, and then we hit the trail again.

We rounded Wilmer Lake and noted that the water level was so high that much of the lakeside trail was submerged. We scouted around through the bushes and rocks, trying to keep our feet dry, but as we neared Jack Main Creek crossing, we realized that we were in for our first ford of the day. For once in her life, Rachel didn't dawdle about getting into the frigid water. What was worse, getting wet and cold feet or getting countless mosquito bites on her legs and feet while she thought about it? The water was bitterly cold, but she rushed across the knee deep creek and quickly changed back into shoes and pant-legs on the other side.

Once clear of the creek, we began a long and gradual climb up Jack Main Canyon towards our last pass of the section. For a long way the grade was so gradual that we hardly realized that we were climbing, but near the end it intensifies so that we broke a sweat in the heat of the afternoon. We hiked along the canyon for ten miles, much of it through soggy, mosquito infested meadows, but aside from swatting at the bugs, the going was pretty good. The scenery was beautiful, the grade was nice, and it was comfortably warm which all make for a good combination. We stopped for lunch on an outcrop of rocks and ate the usual while we swatted at the mosquitoes landing on Scott's back. They were landing on him in such numbers that Rachel (who's blood must not be as sweat or something because she was left in relative peace) was able to kill as many as five mosquitoes all in one smack.

At last we came upon Dorothy Lake and just beyond it, the low, Dorothy Lake Pass that we had been striving towards. We rounded the lake, taking the serenity of it all, and then climbed over the low pass to see the valley drop down below us. We had made such a gentle and gradual ascent, that it was a bit of a shock to see the trail drop so quickly on the other side. It wasn't steep in comparison to most passes, but compared to the south side it was. Not only was the north side of the pass steeper, but it had a fair amount of snow on it too. Right at the pass, the trail markers noting that we were leaving Yosemite National Park and entering into Toiyabe National Forrest were half buried in the snow. We made our way across the still crusty surface and began our descent into the valley below.

The north side of the pass had a bunch of small lakes around it and we made our way down past a few of them. The trail weaved in and out, under snow and around ridges on its steady descent before dropping off the ridge down to Lake Harriet. We made our way along the lake shore, and then when we got to the outlet we realized that we were going to have to ford it. We sat down and changed into our sandals and then made our way across the stream. It was a frustrating crossing because there were good rock across the stream, but they were all covered with water. The water was just deep enough that it required changing our shoes, but it wasn't so deep that we had to get wet much past our ankles. To make matters even more frustrating, the creek was only about ten-feet wide - just a little too far to leap across, but not far enough to make the ten minutes of shoe changing seem worth while.

Once we were back on the move again, we traveled another .7-mile down the trail to the next crossing of the same creek. This time we had the remnants of a foot bridge to cross on. One side of the bridge was broken and the wooden slats were hanging down into the water. The other side was intact and we managed to skirt along with one foot on the support log and the other on the dangling boards.

We hiked on for another couple of miles. We were tired, but we seemed to have finally found our stride. Perhaps it was that we knew that every mile we did was one less that we had to do to get to our re-supply town the next day. With that to motivate us, we almost had to convince ourselves to stop short. Finally we did stop and we made our camp at a little level in the trees, a mile in either direction from where the guidebook talked about a suitable camp. The mosquitoes were still bad and we went through the same rituals of diving into the tent and so on that we had done the night before. If anything, the mosquitoes seemed even worse at this site and we had to put on our mosquito proof clothing to venture out of the tent to secure away our Ursacks, place the bear canister far enough away from the tent, and to gather our rock ammunition incase a bear should attempt to get into the Ursacks.

Another bear-less night saw us getting up at 5:30 AM to warmer temperatures (5 degrees C; about 40 F) than we have been having lately. We did as much packing up in the tent before we ventured out to face the bugs, but when we did make it out we were delighted to find that they were relatively few in numbers. We headed out onto the trail at about 6:30 and we somehow we managed to avoid getting followed by a swarm of mosquitoes.

We quickly put the first 1.5 miles behind us and came upon a footbridge crossing of West Fork West Walker River. We crossed the river and almost immediately came upon Pete and Ed's camp. (Pete and Ed are two Canadian hikers from Toronto who we have not seen since arriving in Big Bear City. They have been ahead of us this whole time but we had heard that they had slowed up a bit, which obviously they had.) Ed, Pete's Dad, was still sawing logs in the tent, but we talked to Pete for a few minutes before leaving him to go back to brewing coffee (perhaps that's the only way he knows how to get his Dad moving in the mornings).

As we walked along, we noticed a distinct change in the topography ahead. We were moving out of the granite based mountains, that have dominated much of the landscape through Yosemite and before, and we are moving into volcanic landscapes that will be with us for about the next 500 miles, until just before Mt. Shasta in Northern California. The change is very abrupt as the mountain sides change from a timber covered gray to a barren terra-cotta color. The timberline seems to drop dramatically with the new landscape as the mountains ahead of us had very few trees on them in comparison. Scott made the comment that water may once again become a more precious commodity as it would appear that there will be less of it in the miles to come

Another couple of miles along the trail and we were climbing. This came as a bit of a surprise to us as we had only given the map a cursory glance and it had appeared that the remainder of the trail from Wilmer Lake (mid point of the previous day) on was a pretty gentle descending grade. Well, obviously we need to look a little closer at the map next time because what we were facing was anything but gentle or descending. After about 2.5 miles of moderate climbing through the trees up Kennedy Canyon, we began our climb in earnest. Up we would go, another 1500 feet along an old jeep road, and then up the talus-screed slopes to the Sierra Crest at about 10,680 feet.. The views opened up around us as we looked back at the Yosemite hinterlands, the volcanic mountains to the north, and the lush green valleys to the west and the south. We were delighted to find that we were going to be maintaining the elevation that we had just gained for some time as we were to spend the better part of the next 6 miles walking along the crest.

As we set out along the crest line, we were astounded by the views of the valley basin far below us. At times the drop off was so steep that one didn't want to look too much while walking along, but those situations were the exception. We were hiking along the trail made up of thousands of small volcanic rocks, so the hiking was tough on the knees and ankles (God, of it's not one thing it's another), but it was amazing at how many different varieties of wildflowers managed to survive, if not flourish, in that harsh, barren environment. After a few miles we crossed over the crest to the east side and we were treated to a whole new valley to feast our eyes upon for a couple miles before crossing back again.

We were hitting some snow patches on the crest, particularly on the east side, but for the most part the patches were relatively mundane. It wasn't until we began our 1200 foot descent down to Sonora Pass (now that was a switch for us... descending to a pass) that we encountered anything that really gave us cause for concern. Before we began the descent we had read the guidebook which states "In early summer the first 1/4 mile of this descent -- across steep slopes -- is snowbound and potentially lethal if you fall" and Rachel had gotten herself a little apprehensive, but when we started down we found that it was nowhere near as bad as we had feared it might be. The snow was soft enough that we sunk into it by about three inches with every step, so that gave us a little confidence on the downhill segments; that we would not slip off the slope on a sheet of ice. The frustrating part about the descent, however, was that the trail was routed around a bowl. We trail avoided the first part of the bowl by swinging t o the northwest, but then it dropped down a little and switch-backed, leading us right around the basin again. To follow the trail would have meant traversing a quarter mile on snow around this steep bowl only to eventually switchback down and back at a lower elevation. Scott thought that this trail routing was ludicrous and opted to follow the lead of previous hikers and head straight down the bowl rather than trying to traverse around it. The snow was soft enough that we didn't have any problems dropping down inside the bowl to where we could reach a rock outcrop and then alternatively scramble down rocks and snow the rest of the way. Sure enough, we met up with the trail right where it crossed back over the creek that runs off of all the snow in the basin, and we were able to follow it the remaining .7-mile to Highway 108 at Sonora Pass.

As we came walking down to the road, there was a young girl standing at the sign declaring that one was now entering the wilderness backcountry, and how to prepare oneself. We stopped to talk to her and her father for a little bit while waiting for a car to come along the quiet, scenic, highway in a westward direction. After a few minutes a car did come crawling up the hill and we stuck out our thumb. The people stopped to pick us up and give us a lift the fourteen miles down the canyon to Kennedy Meadows Resort where our re-supply box had been shipped to. The only catch with the ride was that they were in search of some snow for their five year old grandson to play in. After driving about five miles down the road they figured that they had passed the patch that they wanted to stop at so we turned around and drove back a couple of miles so that five year old David could climb around on the snow for ten minutes before we all piled back into the car and continued our drive down to the resort. We found it a little amusing that these people would drive so far our of their way to find a little snow when we had just had our fill of it over the past couple of weeks and are willing to hike quite a bit out of our way to avoid it. Oh well, it's all a matter of perspective.

As we pulled up at the store of Kennedy Meadows Resort, we were surprised to see Simon and Liz sitting at the picnic table going through their re-supply box. As it turned out, they had made a wrong turn on the trail and ended up missing the crest portion of today's hike and had made their way to the highway via one of the valleys. After catching up for a little bit we went into the store, paid the $10 holding fee, and claimed our supply box. It was quite a sight to see all of our food, as well as Simon and Liz's food spread out on the picnic table, trying to sort through everything and figure out what we needed to bring with us and what we didn't. By the time we were finished, we had filled Simon and Liz's 4-day re-supply box with things that we were sending home. We have been getting too much food in our re-supplies and it is really easy to get in the habit of carrying it with us, but this time we were a little more ruthless and tried to keep thing down. There is nothing more frustrating that coming into town with food bags half full, and that is what we have been doing for a long time. With any luck, we will have done this one right and then we will know how to redo our supply boxes when we get back to Scott's parents place in a few weeks.

Once our food was all sorted out, we got our laundry done and then we went to the restaurant for a burger dinner (Scott had two burger platters again... do you thing our appetites have increased?!). After eating we wandered down the road to the campground. It is now way past our bedtime (almost 11 PM), but we wanted to get this journal segment completed so we can try and upload it tomorrow morning before heading back to the trail and onward to Interstate 80.