Reconfigured plans, but still the PCT!

Total PCT miles 790.2 – Lee Vining, California

Hello Family and Friends.

Greetings from the Eastern Sierra town of Lee Vining and the beautiful shores of Mono Lake. (Just wrote a long update that got lost to the login-expired abyss :-p, so I will keep this brief and backfill in shorter intervals.) Since we got off the trail at mile 790.2 on 23 June, we’ve been reconfiguring our plans of when and where to get back on the Pacific Crest Trail.

In the last week we’ve had wonderful experiences hitch-hiking to and from Yosemite National Park, met up with friends doing research on Yosemite forest dynamics, serendipitously met trail angels in Lee Vining and had enough time to figure out a plan for the next leg of our hike.

So what’s next? We’ll met up with our awesome, much-loved and often-missed friend, Ben Glenn to attend the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA over Independence Day weekend. Following the festival we’ll be heading up to Ashland, OR on 4 July to begin hiking southbound back to the Sierras.

In day-dreaming of, and preparing for our PCT hike, we hadn’t intended to flip-flop ahead nearly 1,000 miles. A continuous walk has been our strong desire. But with all the snow melting in the Sierras and creeks running high, the conditions we’d encounter in the mountains right now are beyond the level of risk we’re willing to take for what is essentially a (long, beautiful, inspiring and yes it should be challenging too) backpacking trip. We’ve heard and read one too many accounts of folks getting knocked down and swept away in the icy, roaring creeks only to be pulled out by fellow hikers, backpacks lost to rapids, etc. these are life-harming conditions that we’d rather not encounter. Self-preservation trumps desire in this case. So we’re adapting to our understanding of conditions and heading north, in order to head south for about 8 weeks. If all goes well, we’ll be rejoining the main cohort of PCT hikers near Ashland in mid-August, and then we’ll keep walking northward.

Sage lands near Mono Lake: