Mile 1018 to mile 1026, 8 miles
Cost: camped, free
We all slept in until after 7am then went downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast we slowly set about packing our bags, filling up water bottles, I washed my stove and then we all got hungry again so we went back downstairs for lunch (this time we took our packs down with us so we wouldn’t end up back in the room!)
We had heard about a fire that was very close to this next section we were going to hike through and knew many people were going to skip ahead. The receptionist rang the PCTA and found out that the trail was still open but the highway over Ebbetts Pass was closed. We looked at our maps and decided that if the trail was still open we would go for it, as long as the wind kept blowing the smoke the other direction and not ours. We came up with a strategy to have a short day today, then tomorrow hike up until just before Ebbetts Pass (where the highway was closed) and hopefully be able to camp without too much smoke, then the next day walk through the entire smoky area and get to the other side of it.
During breakfast a man came up to us and said he could give us a ride back to the trail. He said he would be giving quite a few people a lift and to catch him when he came back if we were ready to leave.
Just after we finished lunch he arrived back after dropping some hikers off and said he could take us up. The drive between Sonora pass and Kennedy meadows resort was beautiful and had I been driving myself, I would’ve stopped a dozen times to take photos.
We got phone service on a tall rock at Sonora pass so Mr & Mrs Smith and I booked a room at the Budget Inn in South Lake Tahoe for Sunday and Monday night. We all need to go to the post office and we could actually make it there by Saturday but the hotel rate for sat night is extortionate compared to Sunday ($160 for Sat, $60 for Sun/Mon).
I was thinking today about how much I’m enjoying the walking and that I always look forward to getting back on the trail after a trail town. Except that every conversation we seem to have now is about food, even straight out of a trail town when we’ve eaten so much we have to adjust our hip belt straps!
We had a really fun night playing charades together after dinner. Some of the titles that came up were Dirty Dancing, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Top Gun, Star Wars… We were laughing hysterically at each other!