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PCT 2015 Day 66: Stormy Weather

  • Start: 1,016.9
  • End: 1,026.0
  • Miles: 9.1
  • Camp: By Carson River

We knew the hitch out of Bridgeport would be tough, so we didn’t get too ambitious with it and started our attempt around 9:30am. The first car to pass by us on the main drag in town stopped! Marjorie was driving to Carson City but offered to take us to the intersection with hwy 108 where we could try again. That part took a little longer. Most of the traffic turning was official: the sheriff (thanks for not ticketing us!) and several forest service vehicles, but mostly the U.S. Marine Corps trucks heading 4 miles up the road to the mountain training base. None of these guys could take us. Nor could the cars filled with families heading out for a day hike. Eventually a couple heading up to pick up their daughter from the same trailhead that we were aiming for picked us up. 

As we drove up the hill to Sonora Pass it started to rain. We figured it was like the thunderstorms of the past weeks, likely to blow over in an hour or so, so set off merrily up the hill. As we got to the top of the climb, amid lightning and thunder and hailstones we could see over into the next valley, which was thick with cloud. Maybe it wasn’t going to blow over so quickly.

We met the couple’s daughter, Erin, hiking towards us, and her friend Laurel. They told us there were marble sized hailstones on the plateau after the next climb and we might want to camp in the valley. That would mean a 9 mile day instead of the 15 minimum we had planned. The storm worsened, with thunder crashing around us constantly and hailstones ripping at our hands and faces. We gave it up at 9 miles and made camp, watching the lightning and listening to the sound of rain and hail in the trees above our tents. 

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