Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7 - Day 77 - Beer & Banging out the miles

From Ski Lift porch at Donner Pass (Mile 1154) to camp on wooded ridge (Mile 1177.7)

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 23.7

Dionysus here.

Woke up this morning on a splintery wooden deck underneath a ski lift on a dry mountain - another one of those singular PCT experiences. Here's the view from our bed.

This is a view of our "campsite" as we hiked away this morning.

We have been doing a poor job of looking ahead in the maps (to see what is coming our way). So it came as a pleasant surprise to find out that there was a restaurant at Donner pass. We crawled up before they opened at 8 AM and we got to recharge the phone and enjoy tables, chairs, options. We ate a large breakfast of breakfast burritos, and enjoyed a free thru-hiker beer (I love morning drinking on the trail). We ended up fielding a lot of questions from local men at the bar about thru-hiking. As stinky as we were (fact: most thru-hikers stink prodigiously after days in the back country), we were the center of attention. They were phenomenally impressed we had already come so far -- and that we have backpacked 77 days. It kinda felt like we were cele fifties the way they gathered around. Strange and cool experience.

Then as we made to get back on the trail we encountered a whole big group of thru-hikers and a trail angel cooking up burgers and serving wine and beers. The angel - never did get his name - offered us food and drink, but grateful as we were, we were already stuffed to the gills and if I had another beer that early there would hav been no way I could have made 20 miles.

So we moved out through a fun and dramatic landscape. Donner Pass must have been quite formidable before the road and overpasses were put in. We stopped by the I-80 rest stop to wash our feet and maybe get a soda, but no vending machines and no water. So instead we hiked on a ways and washed our feet at a little creek in a beautiful meadow. As soon as we had our feet in the water the mozzies came out in full force. (I imagine it would be pretty funny to see us getting attacked like that - we go into pure Tourette Syndrome panic mode, cursing and flailing around, all random & spastic. How we thoroughly curse mozzies!!!

We made reservations for our upcoming stay in Sierra City and collectively fantasized about the gear and books we have waiting for us. (TERRY PRATCHETT!! Save us from the boredom of our own thoughts!!)

Otherwise, the landscape is less dramatic -- its mountains rounding out. There is less water available, so we have to begin paying attention to water sources again.

Made camp on a great flat spot between the trail and a 4x4 road high on a wooded ridge. Hopefully the road isn't noisy tonight.

Tomorrow, the 20-mile morning hike into town.

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