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PCT 2015 Day 64: Unexpected Energy

  • Start: 990.0
  • End: 1,010.4
  • Miles: 20.4
  • Camp: Near Leavitt Peak

We hit the ground running today! A very fast 7 miles over rather flat terrain had us at Dorothy Lake by 9:30am. We took a long break, swimming and washing socks. Even that early in the morning the sun was warm enough to dry us out quickly and make it hard to leave.

Eventually we dragged ourselves away and made our way over the pass, exiting Yosemite and entering Hoover Wilderness/Toiyabe National Forest. We could see alpine lakes everywhere during the gentle downhill, not realising these would be the last we would see for a while. 

By lunchtime around noon, we had only 8 miles left to the spot we had earmarked for camping. We decided to see how it went but were definitely countenancing the idea of more miles.

Shortly after lunch we noticed a dramatic change in scenery to dark rocks and sparse trees. Whilst it isn’t the end of the Sierra Nevada, it is the end of the high alpine we have been used to. We passed the 1,000 mile marker as we passed through the trees, and met Stopwatch and Unicorn who has thankfully stopped hiking with her small dog. I can’t quite believe I’ve hiked 1,000 miles. Mad.

A solid climb into camp, with long switchbacks, allowed us to watch the storm across the valley. We were half regretting our decision to get in more miles, as the next flat spot was right at the top of the hill. We escaped the worst of the storm, thankfully, but we had cold winds as we were pitching the tents. The hard plateau meant the stakes wouldn’t go in, but luckily there were lots of big rocks around to deadman the stakes in the shallow gravel. Despite the cold and the wind, we came out of our tents after eating dinner inside to watch the sun set over the spectacular mountains. Not a bad place to sleep.

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