21 Aug Day 122 – Return to Walker Pass
At mile 659.4. Hiked 7.3 miles today.
Today Cache22 drove me from his home in Sacramento to Walker Pass. We took the scenic route on Highway 50 and Highway 395 traveling down the Eastern Sierra. We passed Echo Lake where my hike will end and we went through Mammoth, Independence, and Lone Pine, all towns I may visit later for resupply.
It was great to be back in the desert with its wide-open views and beautiful sunsets. I didn’t start hiking until shortly before 5 pm and I had to carry a heavy load of 4.5 liters of water, but once my car stiffened muscles and joints warmed up, I felt mostly good. My knees ache a little.
Just as it was starting to become too dark to hike without a headlamp, I spied where the trail passed behind a knob in the far distance. Everywhere else the trail traversed steep slope. Upon reaching the knob, I found it better than I had expected. There was a level tent site on the knob. I set up a cowboy camp with wide-open views down the valley and of the lights of Ridgecrest and the nearly full moon rising over the desert floor. Dinner was corn chowder with Spam and avocado.
Here I am starting out at Walker Pass. I’m hiking north through the Sierra. I have 440 miles to complete my PCT through hike.