30 Apr Day 33 – Rain?
Flipped to Walker Pass and hiking south toward Hikertown. Hiked 21.1
PCT miles. At mile 583.3.
There was strange weather today. Coyboy camping again, I awoke early seing stars through the tall pines, but no stars in the western sky. After hiking a mile or so I crested a minor ridge and I saw a blanket of clouds on mountains below with some other clouds skirting the hill just ahead.
Weather was normal when I saw this long lived oak tree in the early morning.
A little more hiking and I was in this weather. The clouds swept through and the trees gathered and dropped the moisture. For the next 6 hours, I was walking through clouds and tree rain. The pines seem particularly adept at sweeping up cloud moisture. In places water began to run down the trail. I wore my rain jacket and fleece pants and allowed my hands to become near numb before a complete pack search for my gloves. The gloves were in the food bag, not their normal place. When I eventually found them, I recalled having placing them there to keep them dry. When my hands warmed I was once again able to use them in snaps, buckles, and zippers.
I finally crossed another ridge where there was a weather tower and a little blue sky. The wind increased as the skies cleared. It stayed cool all day long. Soon I thought I saw an apparition through the mists and realized that there were windmills rotating nearby. I. Left the clouds behind and entered the land of blue sky and wind. With clear skies, miles of windmills.appeared. Other hikers, all northbound, hardly believed it when I reported that I had been hiking through rain all day and that could expect the same. It is clear to me now how the Mojave is so dry. These mountains soak up and wring out all of the clouds before the can reach the Mojave.
Here I looked back toward the distant cloud that covered rainy mountains I had earlier hiked.
Here I look back from an even greater distance.
The last several days I had wondered which NOBO (northbound) hiker that I knew would be the first that I would meet on my flip hike to the south. This person would be a worthy hiker who had either managed to pass me and/or stay ahead of all the other hikers that I met along the way. Near the end of the day II met this worthy hiker. It was Lady, an AT thru-hiking they-hiking veteran., who had accomplished this feat even after taking a double zero. Congratulations Lady! I’d give you a patch or something if I had an actual award for this. Before the end of the day I saw previous trail meets Baby Lungs, who was at Hikertown when cousin Margaret bestowed cornucopia of trail magic. He had since met Lady.
Here are the trail flowers of the day which were found near the end of the day not far from some windmills.