Friday, September 27, 2013

day 25: 16th day on the JMT, Rae Lakes to just below Forester Pass

(I forgot to mention that yesterday we saw a team of horses [about 20] come down the trail carrying supplies, it was pretty cool.  They also left us nice little "presents" along the trail that we had to dodge.)

Rae Lakes in the morning

Fin Dome in the morning

Panoramic of Rae Lakes

This morning we woke up and Dr. John had to bandage my feet again before we got out of the tent.  We broke camp and started to get ready for the hike up Glen Pass.  We had to walk 3 miles up 1500 feet elevation.  At first it was rolling, then uphill, then major uphill.  I was worried about this pass, I think some PCT hiker said it was bad (snow wise) or something.  There was some snow on it but it wasn't that bad.  The steepness is what kicked my butt.  I was stopping more frequently than I had on the other passes.  And this one wasn't clear so I couldn't see exactly where the pass was farther along.  I just had to follow the trail.  Anyway, up up up and we finally got there!

Heading towards Glen Pass

Me hiking up Glen Pass

The view from the top of Glen Pass

Us at the top

Once we reached the top, some PCT hikers came up the other side and we talked to them for a bit.  They were doing the JMT within the PCT.  The girl's trail name was "Wacka Wacka" which made me think of my sister, it's one of our jokes :).  So what happens after you summit a pass?  You descend.  Oh yeah, the view up top was really beautiful.  The fact that all of these mountains and lakes exist is just awesome!

Going down the other side

The view going down

Wonderful flat terrain

So we descended and it was steep (no snow!) and my feet were really pissed.  Then we went through rolling terrain and more descending.  Much like the previous few days: ascend the pass, descend steep switchbacks, descend more and rolling terrain.  We dropped all the way to 9500 feet (Glen Pass was 11,900 feet), which is the lowest we'll be for the rest of the hike. 

 Just incredible

Heading towards Trail Magic

While we were taking a break with Vegas some PCT hikers asked us if we knew about Trail Magic.  Of course we had no idea and we were a little skeptical at first.  Then they said it was a group of people who hike in with food and feed thru hikers.  Yay!  And they said they thought they were serving spaghetti today, wahoo!  They were located about 1.2 miles from where we were so we high tailed it down that descent.  Y'all, when you've been hiking for days (ok, weeks) and there's a promise of food at some point, come hell or high water you're getting there.  I was a woman on a mission. 

On the way down a PCT hiker (I assume) hiked past us wearing just her underwear!  Just the bottoms!  Ahh!  So bizarre and uncomfortable. Why?  Why would you do that?  Anyway, we kept going until we reached Trail Magic, which we found out is just 6 guys who hike in with tons of food and feed thru hikers.  No actual organization, they receive no donations, just do it out of the goodness of their hearts.  How nice!  They seriously made my day!  They were so kind and selfless.  They served us spaghetti and bacon and cheese quesadillas.  Delicious!  It was fun to talk with them and some of the other hikers. Truly, trail angels.

With full bellies we thanked them and continued on.  We ascended 2500 feet over 5 miles.  We found a campsite near Forester Pass (hiking that first thing tomorrow!) and set up camp.  We made dinner, cleaned up and were in our tents by 7:30.  After the sun started going down the temperature went down to 40 degrees! (It was 30 degrees when we woke up this morning)  So, Forester Pass tomorrow then we ascend Whitney!!  We may try to make it to the top and camp up there.  We'll see if these battered feet can get me there.

Campsite view

What hurts: feet, blisters seem to be spreading. My back is starting to hurt some.  John is fine, shocking.

Our campsite near Forester Pass

Total JMT miles: 185

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