Today there were only three of us. Three woke up under the clouds. Three had lunch high above Milk Creek. Three did 59 switchbacks down to Vista Creek and camped here. We saw no-one else at all. Tomorrow we’ll reach the point where the detour and the road-walk rejoin the official PCT and I expect to see more people then. Until then it’s just me, the Noodleheads and the bears.
There were two bears at Pumice Creek this morning. The cub ran away pretty quickly but the mother waited a little bit then casually followed. They were the first that the Noodleheads had seen but my 7th and 8th. The next ridge brought us above the clouds and it was even more spectacular than yesterday. To the west a barren mountain range, still holding pockets of snow, pierced through the thick flowing blanket. Individual peaks became islands in the mist. There was no haze up there so I could see an incredible distance and make out details that would normally be too faint.
The ridges were magnificent and truly rivaling the high sierras for my favourite place on the trail. In all we climbed 5,000ft today, and dropped that much too. The border is only 112 miles away and to be honest I don’t know if I’d make it much further. My knees are feeling the strain of all these slopes. When my feet get wet, as they did this morning from the dew on the plants, they show strange patterns as if the skin is beginning to rot away.