Started: 13:30 @ MM 745.3 Trail Pass, access from Lone Pine (Elevation 10,492ft)
Finished: 17:00 @ MM 750.8 Chicken Spring Lake (Elevation 11,213ft)
Miles: 5.5 + 1.8 on access trail
Elevation Gain/Loss: +900/-178ft and a further +6,678ft by car from Lone Pine!
Food: Soooooo much food!!
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 1, Days since laundry 2
As always time off trail is both good and bad. On the upside I love getting cleaned up. Poor personal hygiene is one of the aspects of trail life that I have struggled with the most and I still really miss deodorant and the smell of shower gel and fresh laundry. Time in town is also a great opportunity to catch up with other hikers who are just behind or ahead. I have started to really enjoy the social side of the trail. It feels that as a bunch, we have all started to out grow the superficial and trivial gear and hiker talk. The personalities on trail seems to have become more charismatic and engaging. On the down side, towns are expensive and I always seem to be so busy, running around to get resupply and other chores done, but mostly I just appear to be eating a lot!My Kiwi “whanau”rolled into town ahead of schedule. It was so fantastic to see them but also it felt a little strange. Trail families form very quickly and the bond of shared experiences and hardships is a very strong one. Seeing “real world” people takes a little adjustment. Lone Pine is a great town for hikers. It’s just 5 blocks so easy to get around. Town was full of Hiker Trash and it would take me ages to just get to the grocery store because I would stop and chat to people every few yards. I needed to replace my shorts which were falling apart. Lone Pine has a great outfitters and they offer a generous discount to PCT hikers. It’s so frustrating for me to go into a gear store and be unable to buy anything because I can’t carry anything. I found some short tried them on and discovered that I have already dropped two clothing sizes! I had become the incredible shrinking woman … I felt fully justified in eating all of the chocolate and food magic that my Kiwi “whanau” were so generously bestowing upon me. After a couple of days hanging out I was ready to get back on trail. I was also very apprehensive about what lie ahead. The next 4 days would take us over the highest pass on the trail. I really wasn’t sure if I had the skills or strength to handle it. My only option was to keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. I said a fond farewell to the Kiwi crew and myself, Butterfly, Turbo and Spreadsheet headed back into the mountains and the unknown!