PCT Day 76 – Meet the Tramily!

Started: 10:15 @ MM 1,017.1 Sonora Pass Trailhead (Elevation 9,618ft)

Finished: 17:30 @ MM 1,027.9 Creek and Camp (Elevation 8,830ft)

Miles: 10.8

Elevation Gain/Loss: +1,951/-2,740ft

Food: Big Ole Breakfast, Hot Dog, Snickers, Cheese & Crackers, Trail Mix, Instant Potato and Salmon

Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 1, Days since laundry 1

The wonderful Kennedy Meadows Pack Station & Ranch … One of my favourite stops along the trail!
I was in absolutely no rush to leave the wonderful Kennedy Meadows North, in fact I was sorely tempted to take a zero. Yet, after the difficult days of solitude in Yosemite, I was also keen to get back on trail with my new friends. Stretch, Mamma Lion, Boone and I tucked into a hearty all American breakfast with gallons of hot coffee. Once we’d eaten our own body weight in waffles, resident trail angel Geoff gave us a ride back up to Sonora Pass. When we reached the trailhead I was thrilled to see another familiar face. iPod, a trail angel from Hiker Heaven, all the way back in Agua Dulce, was here spreading the love and dishing out cold soda and hot dogs. We hung out with iPod for another hour. I squeezed down another couple of dog before finally lumbering up the trail …I may have over eaten. At this rate it was going to take forever to reach Canada!
A steep struggle up and out of Sonora Pass
Like many others on the trail, I was becoming acutely aware of just how many miles lie ahead and how few days were left in which to hike those miles. Although I hadn’t actually sat down and done the maths, I was pretty certain that my snail like pace through the High Sierras and Yosemite had left me way behind my intended schedule. Many hikers plan to make up the lost time through Oregon, where the terrain is less hostile and 30 mile days are not uncommon. Even assuming that this was possible, I suspected that I’d left myself with an insurmountable daily average. I placated my angst by promising a thorough review once I reached Tahoe, now just a few days away.
Mamma Lion, Boone and Stretch … One for the Tramily album!
The climb out of Sonora was a steep struggle. The descent into the Carson Wilderness was complicated by numerous sketchy snow traverses, making the trail tricky to follow and doing nothing to improve my faltering pace. Thankfully, once we dropped below the snow line things became much easier … or perhaps my breakfast over indulgences had been worked off. I walked with Stretch, Mamma Lion and Boone for the whole day. Although I was grateful of the company, after so many lonely miles, I was also discovering just how talkative a 9 year old can be. Stretch and I took it in turns to listen to Boone’s lengthy explanation as to how he was going to “save us all” if we got lost. I considered my fastidious attention to Boone’s sociality a service to Mamma Lion … she was no doubt enjoying the break!
Tramily evening around the campfire (Left to Right: Gabriel, Boone, Mamma Lion, Stretch and Tina Turtle)
After a paltry 11 miles we opted to stop at a sizeable camp just north of a well flowing stream. In this new volcanic land, water was once again becoming a commodity requiring consideration. The trail was starting to dry out and campsites with water were harder to come by. I wasn’t alone in my aversion to dry camping. Nobody enjoys humping 6lbs of water up hill and so the choice to stop was a fairly simple one. Gabriel arrived too, another easy convert to the lazy-short-day school of thru-hiking. With the whole crew from Kennedy Meadows now reunited, we enjoyed a most convivial trail family evening around the campfire. It was so good to be part of a “Tramily” again!

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2 thoughts on “PCT Day 76 – Meet the Tramily!

  1. Love the word “Tramily”. We had a similar experience crossing from GA into NC – we had a sort of thanksgiving bonfire to celebrate. When I was a caretaker in ME, a group of hikers did similar at my shelter site, complete with marshmallows and adult beverages.

    It’s not always just about miles. I still remember the feeling of those campfires to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

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