Mile reached: 925.9 (+22.7 + 4.2 bonus)
High: So many great views throughout the day
Low: There was too much snow on Mount Ritter for me to feel comfortable climbing it.
Consensus says: Thru-hikers are more likely to get dehydrated in the Sierra than in the desert. There is so much water that we carry very little and tend to drink less.
I was in no rush to get out of town, but I wanted to be sure that I got back to the trail early enough to put in a full day. After a quick breakfast, I tried to Uber back to the trailhead. Oddly, there were no drivers available; same with Lyft. So, this meant that I needed to take the trolley, which would take a while. Oh well.
From Horseshoe Lake I took a side trail to get back to the PCT. It turned out that I could have taken a trail directly to Red’s Meadow, but I didn’t have a very good map of the area and added three or so miles. On the bright side I ran into “Couch Potato”, and he thanked me for giving him an update on conditions on Forester a week or so back.
The midday highlight was having lunch at the Devil’s Postpile. Surprisingly, I had it all to myself likely due to problems with the road. Almost immediately after the postpile, I had to make a decision about whether to take the PCT or JMT at a fork. I had been wanting to climb Mount Ritter, which is accessed from the JMT. However, earlier in the day I had seen so much snow on it that I was doubtful that it could be climbed with the gear I had. So, I opted to take the PCT and was treated to fantastic views of both Ritter and Banner throughout the afternoon.
In the early evening, I arrived at Thousand Island Lake but was greeted by intense wind. While I was snacking, “Penguin”, “Snacks”, and “Night Walker” showed up. They immediately recognized me from the campfire at VVR a few nights back and thanked me for giving out cookies. (I had been holding the bag, but I didn’t deserve any credit. Alicia had made and brought them.) Amusingly, “Night Walker” was a little disappointed to learn that he missed out, because he had passed out from a full day of drinking earlier that evening. Anyway, it was so windy that I decided to push on and camp a few miles shy of Donahue Pass.